Guild leaders, colleagues and friends are asking what is being done to support the families of the five people killed last week in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland.
Killed were Gerald Fischman, Robert Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters, who were gunned down in their newsroom on June 28. The man arrested had held a grudge against the newspaper for several years.
We’ve learned that some locals are holding vigils to honor the five and ask that local leaders share information about those events with firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, please share any photos of those vigils to the same email so we can provide a visual expression of our mutual grief to the Capital Gazette staff.
Other ways to remember the five include:
· Participating in an international moment of reflection. The American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors are calling on journalists around the globe to spend a moment of silence “in contemplation, prayer, reflection or meditation” at 2:30 p.m. EDT Thursday.
· Donating to one of two funds established by Tronc, which owns the Capital Gazette. Tronc has created a fundfor families, victims and survivors of the shooting, along with a scholarship memorial fundfor journalism students. The Michael and Jacky Ferro Family Foundation will match up to $1 million in donations.
Tronc is the parent company of The Baltimore Sun Media Group, which includes the Capital and the Baltimore Sun, where TNG members work. The Capital Gazette is not a Guild newspaper, but we at TNG stand in solidarity with them in our common goal of protecting journalism.
· Purchase a First Amendment T-shirtfrom the Society of Professional Journalists. Proceeds benefit the Capital Gazette.
· Join other CWA members in the tradition of wearing red on Thursdays as a show of solidarity. This Thursday, July 5, include the five Capital Gazette staffers in your thoughts as you join in this tradition.
We know that many of you may need to take care of yourselves. Consider taking advantage of any counseling available to you.
The DART Center for Journalism and Trauma offers several resources, including its booklet titled “Trauma and Journalism: A Practical Guide”that some will find helpful. In addition, ASNE-APME put together a two-page tip sheeton how to keep your newsroom safe. Keep in mind that the Guild – and workplace safety and health committees – can address these issues even in the absence of specific contract language.
Please contact your steward or a local officer with concerns about safety at your workplace and on assignment. We cannot be silent about the dangers of our jobs.
As you mark July 4thwith fireworks and cookouts, we ask that you remember the historic importance of our nation’s independence and the important role of journalism that’s enshrined in the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Below are links to the obituaries for the five people killed at the Capital Gazette: