Too often in recent days, weeks, and months, we’ve felt the bitterness toward news people doing their jobs grow. It’s no coincidence that President Donald Trump points to reporters in his press pool and calls them “fake news” and, worse, “the enemy of the people.” He is leading the charge of incivility toward the free press, and he and his acolytes are pasting targets on the foreheads of reporters he doesn’t agree with. That needs to stop, here.
Our hearts are with the staff of the Capital Gazette, mourning the loss of beloved colleagues and carrying on with telling their community’s stories through that grief. Newsrooms become families. We love. We bicker. And in the toughest of times, we unite.
Every newsroom can point to people who have had flaps with them, even feuds. Even our tiny and very open newspaper dealt with a hostile visitor just a day before these shootings. We are here to tell you that what we do is always with the intention of gathering the facts and the truth. News isn’t always light and breezy, and our coverage and opinions can ruffle feathers, but the idea that we have any agenda other than telling the Island’s stories is preposterous.
One of the reporters from the Capital Gazette, speaking on CNN in the aftermath of Thursday’s murders, said it best. “I’m gonna need more than a couple days of news coverage and some thoughts and prayers,” she said. “So, thanks for your prayers, but I couldn’t give a (expletive) about them if there’s nothing else.”
It’s past time for something else.