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Attack on Capital Gazette shocks journo community

Thursday, five staffers of the Capital Gazette were killed while serving their community in a planned attack by a gunman with a grudge against the paper.  In minutes, over 75 years of newspaper experience vanished and nearly a quarter of the staff is gone.  Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith did what thousands of our members do every day.  Go to work and try and put out the best news and publication possible.  Their deaths have sent shock waves through the tight-knit journalism community and through the nation.  What can we do? 

Over the past day, there has been a huge outpouring of support for the staff of the Capital Gazette from newsrooms around the region and other press organizations.  MDDC is considering ways to help our members navigate through this time. As those initiatives develop, Rebecca will provide more information. 

Right now, the first concern is for the journalists and staffers at the Capital Gazette and their parent, Baltimore Sun Media Group.  As they identify needs and share those needs, we will make sure to inform the journalism community.  Today, a fundraiser has been set up by tronc, with matching funds up to $1 million.  Learn more about the fundraiser here.

This senseless tragedy highlights the critical role local newspapers play in their communities.  The courage of journalists to continue reporting during the shooting and its aftermath is a beacon call to stand up for objective, accurate coverage.  Those who are searching for ways to help should consider, in addition to the fundraisers, supporting their local papers.  Subscribe, advertise and engage with The Capital Gazette and other local news outlets.   

MDDC provided a brief statement on the tragedy Thursday afternoon.  We are discussing ways to work with other local journalism organizations to respond in a concerted way.  Our hearts are broken as we mourn the deaths in our commmunity.

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