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MDDC response to Capital Gazette tragedy

There has been a tremendous outpouring of support and emotion as our colleagues and friends at the Capital Gazette and Baltimore Sun Media Group pick up the pieces after the tragedy last week at the Capital Gazette offices. Journalists and supporters of a free press were shaken.  Our members are taking a deep look at security procedures and how they interact with their communities. 

MDDC is responding as well.  We've provided an editorial for our members' use, and are creating a special fund for the MDDC internship program in memory of the Capital Gazette staffers killed and honoring those who carried on.  In addition, the board will create a special Courage in Journalism award in memory of this tragedy that will be bestowed at the annual awards program. 

In the short term, we are planning a program on how to respond to threats on social media and a series of ads that will run in our 2x2 network.

In the days and months ahead, we will continue to support and connect with colleagues and members as our community rebuilds from the tragedy.  If you have ideas on how MDDC should respond, please contact Rebecca.

Other items to note:

Public memorial services have been planned for Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, and John McNamara, while a private memorial is planned for Gerald Fischman.  A service memorializing Rob Hiaasen occurred Monday.  Details about arrangements may be found here.

As members consider steps to more secure newsrooms, the Ohio News Media Association shares workplace safety tips from Randy Van Dyne, executive director of the All Hazards Training Center at the University of Findlay.

ASNE and APME have provided a tip sheet on best practices for newsroom safety and what to do in case of an active shooter in the newsroom.

Donate to memorial funds for the victims.  The Capital Gazette Families Fund, administered by the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, has been set up by tronc and matches donations up to $1 million. Grants can be applied to grief and trauma counseling, medical expenses not covered by insurance, funeral expenses, and other associated expenses and services.  The University of Maryland and tronc have established a scholarship fund for University of Maryland journalism students. The MDDC Foundation has established an internship fund to memorialize the lives lost at the Capital Gazette and honor the courage of those left behind.

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