An attack on journalists is an attack on every American

Every time there is a mass shooting in this country, I get overwhelmed and outraged at the same time. It is difficult to come to terms with lives lost in such a violent, nonsensical fashion. But together as individuals and as a country, we grieve.

Thursday’s shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD has left many in our industry pausing. We are well aware this very same thing could happen in one of our newsrooms. Do people get angry with us? Of course they do. But in an era of excessive gun violence, undiagnosed or unattended mental illness and just an overall devaluation of life itself, are we really so shocked to see this…again?

What amazes me is that the remaining staff still produced a newspaper despite their raw and palpable grief. That is passion. That is dedication to a craft that we in this business still believe is critical for our communities.

Five dedicated newspaper employees, four of whom were journalists, lost their lives and for what? Their entire careers were dedicated to producing local news and information that was important to the community they served. Tragic. Unbelievable. Horrific. Senseless.

The rhetoric continues that journalists are the enemy of the people. Really? The last time I looked I was part of “the people.” My staff are part of “the people.” At this paper, we try and stay away from national news because we believe you can get that elsewhere 24/7.

Our focus here is to provide you with local news. As a community newspaper, it is our intent to cover news that sparks engagement, news that affects our community, news that makes us better, more involved citizens. I’m in agreement with Sarah Huckabee Sanders when she tweeted out yesterday “An attack on journalists is an attack on every American.”

Our prayers go out to the friends and families of the victims of the Capital Gazette. May they remain in our memories and may they forever rest in peace.