NABJ-Chicago Statement on Capital Gazette Shooting

The National Association of Black Journalists-Chicago Chapter mourns with journalists across the nation, and indeed, internationally, after the mass shooting attack carried out upon the Capital Gazette newspaper of Annapolis, Maryland.

Our prayers are with family, friends and colleagues of the five journalists slain: Gerald Fischman, 61, editorial page editor; Rob Hiaasen, 59, assistant editor; John McNamara, 56, staff writer; Rebecca Smith, 34, sales assistant; and Wendi Winters, 65, special publications.

We continue to lift up Rachel Pacella and Janet Cooley, the two employees injured.

This rare fatal attack against U.S. journalists is heartbreaking and sobering. It is a reminder that we in Chicago and journalists everywhere labor under simmering personal risk to defend America’s free press and the public’s right to know. That risk grows ever greater with vitriolic attacks from some sectors against our Fourth Estate guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, and that too holds great consequences when unchecked.

We stand in respect and admiration for the courageous and heroic Capital Gazette newsroom, which continued to do their jobs, covering their own mass shooting and putting out a newspaper, even as they deeply grieved. You make us proud to be journalists. Any attack on journalism in this nation is an attack on the free press. Any attack on journalism in this nation is an attack on all of us.

We are #CapitalGazette. Your grief is our grief. Today, we stand as one.

Sincerely,

NABJ-Chicago Chapter Board of Directors

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