Silence in newsrooms 5 killed in Maryland paper remember

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Editorial in the country paused Thursday to observe a minute of silence for the five employees of a Maryland newspaper, who were killed a week ago in one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in AMERICAN history.

The Capital Gazette staff interrupted glumly at 2:33 pm as an editor Rick Hutzell rang a bell for each person who died in the Annapolis paper for exactly seven days earlier, The Baltimore Sun reported .

The staff traditionally calls the meetings by a tinkling bell, and Hutzell said that the decision has taken on a new meaning.

“Every time we ring that bell, we started thinking about our friends,” he said.

About a dozen people held hands and prayed next to a monument near the building where the shooting happened. Cheryl Starr and her son, Sam, came to pay their respects.

“We live right next door, so it’s just hit us hard, because it’s so close to home — much too close to home, and it is tragic. Everyone in the community knew these people, and it shouldn’t happen,” she said.

The American Society of News Editors and The Associated Press Media Editors asked editors around the world to join in a commemoration of the dead, and did a lot.

In Louisville, Kentucky, the newsroom at the Courier Journal fell silent in memory of the victims after the executive editor Joel Christopher, read the names of the dead.

“They paid a high price for doing what we do,” he said.

In the editorial of The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia, the vigil was accompanied by the names of the five victims will be read aloud, according to reporter Jane Harper.

“It was incredibly quiet,” said Harper, 55, who worked in the Annapolis paper, from 1987 to 1991. “Not one mobile phone rang. No phone. Not a single sound.”

About 100 people gathered at the headquarters of The Associated Press in New York to observe a moment of silence, circling around a desk, where the coverage of national and international stories is planned.

The attack on the Capital Gazette newsroom is “frightening and disturbing in so many ways,” AP executive editor Sally Buzbee said.

Jimmie Gates, a reporter who participated in a moment of silence on the Clarion Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Mississippi, said a journalist is like being in a small fraternity or association, and an injury to a member hurts.

“It was as if a family member is taken away,” Gates said.

The reminder also hit journalism schools. No classes were in session at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism, but more than a dozen faculty and student bows their heads in memory of the slain newspaper employees.

One of the victims, deputy editor-in-chief Rob Hiaasen, was a deputy of the teacher who taught his first class at the school in the spring semester. Two other victims, editorial page editor Gerald Fischman and John McNamara, a writer and editor, earned a bachelor’s degree from the university more than three decades ago.

Special publications editor Wendi Winters, and Rebecca Smith, a recently hired sales assistant, were also killed. Deborah Nelson, associate professor at the Maryland, said the murders of the heads of the people get in the world of journalism.

“Students will be traumatized by the loss and they’ll also be wondering about the issue of security, which is something we haven’t had to deal with a lot in the U.S.,” she said.

For the memorial in Annapolis, the Capital Gazette photographer Paul W. Gillespie tweeted a photo of the employees of the temporary newsroom, the show of a banner with the name of the paper. The banner, which journalists have walked in the capital of the state is the Fourth of July parade, the temporary quarters are feeling a bit more like home,” he wrote.

Jarrod Ramos, a 38-year-old Maryland man with an old grudge against the newspaper, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the shooting. He is being held without bail.


Associated Press reporters Bruce Schreiner in Louisville, Kentucky; Emily Wagster Pettus in Jackson, Mississippi; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama; David Bauder in New York; Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia; and Michael Kunzelman in College Park, Maryland, contributed to this report.

Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular