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One year later: The Capital Gazette shootings

One year ago today, the local press community was shattered by the news of the shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.  Journalists and news media professionals were devastated by the murders of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John  McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.  Through the year, many have memorialized their lives and worked to upload their legacy of strong local community journalism. 

The survivors chronicled their own losses and work to rebuild in searing remembrances.  They left the newsroom they called home and never went back, leaving behind so many items, large and small, sentimental and quotidian (article here). The journalism community rallied around the staff, with reporters volunteering to help cover beats and help ease the burden.  The University of Maryland stepped up and offered newsroom space at their Capital News Service bureau in Annapolis and hosted the publication for nearly a year (article here).  In the fall of 2018, MDDC held an afternoon conference, "Protecting Journalists," at Morgan State University in Baltimore to highlight issues of safety and security.  Baltimore Sun opinions editor Andy Green, tasked with coordinating all of those volunteers, and Magnus Forsberg, of IREX were the keynote panelists at that event.  Their comments are here.  Steve Jackson from the Baltimore County Police Department and others provided specific tips to keep journalists safe.  Time Magazine named the Capital Gazette Person of the Year in December 2018 and they won a special Pulitzer prize commendation in February.

And time brings us to the one-year anniversary.  The Capital Gazette is now in a new, secure newsroom in Annapolis and the staff and the journalism community calibrates to a new normal.  The role of community journalism is more critical than ever.  Staff members look back through the year.  This WYPR interview aired on the one-year anniversary, The Capital Gazette also covered the anniversary fully in this article.  Paul Gillespie compiled a haunting portfolio of work memorializing his colleagues and those left behind (article on the project here).  The staff have also become fierce gun-control advocates, with some personally testifying before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings committee and in other venues, as Maryland Reporter writes in this article.

At MDDC's annual conference and celebration in May, Rick Hutzell, editor of the Capital Gazette, accepted the Association's first Courage in Journalism award on behalf of Wendi Winters.  The article explaining the award is here, and Rick's comments are here.  Brian Karem, current president of the Association, also delivered commentary before the award

The Press Association and journalism community in our region continues to stand with the staffers of the Capital Gazette and mourns the senseless loss of our colleagues and friends.

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