The Capital Gazette

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, June 30, 2018

On Thursday, a lunatic with a grudge and a gun stormed the office of The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. When his rampage was over, five innocents had been slaughtered.

Four journalists and an advertising assistant, Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith, died in the Capital office that day. Each one leaves behind family, friends, colleagues and loved ones to suffer indescribable grief. And each one died serving the noble cause of community journalism.

Today, media outlets and journalists are under constant attack by political establishments and disgruntled individuals who proclaim every report they find unflattering to be “fake news.”

While there are certainly a handful of unscrupulous players in the arena, the vast majority of media companies are much like the Capital; small, community-based organizations whose objective it is to inform the citizens of the communities they serve.

They cover school board meetings, youth sports and Fourth of July parades. They publish public notices, the goings on in local government and the most famous apple pie recipes in town. In most cases, they are local newspapers with longstanding reputations as pillars of their communities, staffed by people who love their jobs and genuinely care about their neighbors.

We at The Tidewater News have no official affiliation with the fine newspaper in Maryland that suffered this tragedy, but we are of kindred spirit.

Today, we join with those who grieve their loss, and every day we stand in solidarity with those whose mission it is to provide quality community journalism in a time when it has never been needed more.

The Capital Gazette will likely never be the same, but we have no doubt they will continue on — albeit with heavy hearts — as they serve out their mission. We wish them Godspeed as they do so.