June 29, 2018 – Following is the statement issued by the NewsGuild-CWA on yesterday’s tragic shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis:
A gunman with a vendetta against the newspaper shot and killed five employees of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. These employees didn’t do their jobs for the money or the glory. Few of us do, but that’s especially true at a local newspaper where journalism is a community service.
We take no comfort in the knowledge that the gunman targeted this particular newspaper Thursday. In a time when the president refers to the media as the enemy of the people – as he did as recently as Monday – and when a provocateur calls on vigilantes to gun down journalists, far too many people feel emboldened to confront journalists online and in person.
Words have consequences. Now five newspaper employees have been killed in an attack on journalists that could be the deadliest in U.S. history. An attack on journalists is an attack on democracy and an attack on the 1st amendment.
Journalists are accustomed to risk. We knowingly go into dangerous situations when we cover wars or riots. But none of us expects to be shot while sitting at our desks. We shouldn’t have to.
A Capital Gazette reporter tweeted Thursday “We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.” So that is how we will honor our fallen colleagues — by doing our jobs. We will keep asking questions, writing stories, taking photos and shooting video. We are saddened by their deaths. We are discouraged by the anti-journalism rhetoric in this country. We will follow the lead of our colleagues at the Capital Gazette, and we will keep doing our jobs. Democracy depends on journalism.
Contact: Bernie Lunzer