The tragic news out of the Capital Gazette Newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, on Thursday serves as a devastating reminder that journalism is difficult and dangerous work, performed in service to a greater good.
Journalists risk their lives as they hold the powerful accountable and uncover the truth. So far this year, 29 journalists have been killed around the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Since 1992, 1,306 journalists have been killed, according to CPJ.
Before today’s attack, seven of them came from the United States.
The U.S. dropped two spots in Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index in 2018, to 45th. According to the report, “the climate of hatred is steadily more visible.”
“…More and more democratically-elected leaders no longer see the media as part of democracy’s essential underpinning, but as an adversary to which they openly display their aversion.”
As of publication, we don’t know the motive of the shooter who killed several people at the Capital Gazette. We stand with those who respect and defend the right of a free press. And we condemn those who employ a rhetoric of violence as a means of silencing critics.
Journalism is crucial to an informed public and those who attack journalists undermine our democracy.
- Dart Center: Trauma & Journalism: A Guide For Journalists, Editors & Managers
- News University: Journalism and Trauma
- Poynter: Best practices for covering mass shootings