A Town, Its Newspaper Carry on Persist: Opinion Page Mostly Blank, with Names of Slain

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), June 30, 2018 | Go to article overview

A Town, Its Newspaper Carry on Persist: Opinion Page Mostly Blank, with Names of Slain


Byline: Matthew Barakat Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Less than a day after five of their colleagues were killed in the newsroom, staffers of the Capital Gazette put out Friday's edition of the Annapolis newspaper, just as it had been published since 1727.

The bold headline was simple: "5 Shot dead at The Capital." Above the words were photos of the five deceased newspaper employees -- Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara,

Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

That front page, written by grieving employees, made good on a promise that Chase Cook, a Capital Gazette reporter, tweeted in the hours after the shooting.

"I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow."

He later told The Baltimore Sun, "I don't know what else to do except this."

This, being journalism. Writing stories about victims they knew and worked with, colleagues they'd talked with on the phone just hours before the massacre.

The paper's opinion section published a haunting tribute, mostly white space with just a few dozen words.

"Today, we are speechless," went the small column in the middle of the page. "This page is intentionally left blank today to commemorate victims of Thursday's shooting at our office."

The names of the five employees who died were listed, one to each line.

The Capital is an institution in Maryland's capital and was one of the last dailies to switch from publishing in the afternoon to mornings. Its sister publication, the Maryland Gazette, founded in 1727, is one of the oldest papers in America. In 1767, it became the first paper in America to be published by a woman, Anne Catherine Green, who led opposition to the stamp tax in the years leading up to the American Revolution.

A Wawa convenience store less than a mile from the newsroom sold out of the paper just after 6 a.m., The Washington Post reported. Aubrey Baden III, 50, who said he grew up reading the Capital, grabbed the last one.

"I knew I definitely had to get a copy today," said Baden, a high school English teacher. …

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