April 28, 2015

On Monday night, Annie Linskey sat up late watching news speed by on Twitter about the city where she once worked and the newsroom she once worked in. She woke up to fresh coverage on Tuesday from The Baltimore Sun. And she had an idea.

Linskey, now a national reporter at The Boston Globe, asked if the Globe could do something for the Sun. The answer, immediately, was yes.

On Tuesday, the Boston Globe’s editor, Brian McGrory, emailed The Baltimore Sun’s editor, Trif Alatzas.

“We’re looking on from here in deep admiration and empathy for what your newsroom is doing. You’re really doing extraordinary work. Our people would like to send your people some sort of gesture of support.”

That gesture came in the form of pizzas from Viccino Jay’s Italian Gourmet on North Charles Street, and it meant a lot, said Pete Sweigard, the Sun’s assistant managing editor-digital. And a few reporters at the Globe, including Linskey, know what it’s like to cover crime in Baltimore.

“I’ve been there,” she said. “I covered Baltimore city police. It’s really hard to look at this poor neighborhood and just see such utter destruction in a city that’s trying so hard.”

She isn’t the only Globe journalist who used to work at the Sun, Linskey said. There’s Anica Butler, Andy Rosen and others.

“We all have done this as reporters, to be going into neighborhoods that can be so hostile and so dangerous is taxing beyond just the normal course of reporting,” she said. “There is a constant awareness that things can get off the hook, as they say in Baltimore.”

And, she said, there can also be unexpected kindness.

What’s happening in Baltimore now is like any other big event, Sweigard said, “but unlike anything that a lot of us have covered, in the sense that it is this galvanizing thing in the newsroom where everyone rallies to cover the news. It’s just really been inspiring to see.”

They’re continuing to report the news, he said, to get their bearings, and today, to feel some appreciation from fellow journalists.

“Everyone’s really into covering the story but running on fumes,” Sweigard said, “so it definitely meant a lot for them to reach out like that.”

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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