Capital Gazette honors fallen employees with heartfelt tribute

After a gunman killed five in the Maryland paper’s newsroom, colleagues immediately began telling their story on social media and in print.

Capital Gazette shooting

The Capital Gazette’s response to the unthinkable loss of five of its journalists to gun violence was to do their jobs—and do them well.

The incident began when the suspect, later identified as Jarrod Ramos, entered the office building that housed the newspaper and other businesses.

CBS reported:

William Krampf, acting chief of police for Anne Arundel County, said it was a planned attack and that Ramos used smoke grenades when he entered the building. Two law enforcement sources tell CBS News that Ramos used a shotgun.

The attack on journalists has sparked an outcry from the new-gathering community, reigniting the simmering national debate on gun control.

However, the newspaper managed to tell its story first, and honor its fallen colleagues.

In the heat of the moment, many on Twitter jumped into the conversation with few facts.

The Washington Post reported:

On Twitter and other social media, shreds of good news—reporters and editors at the Capital pronouncing themselves safe—were quickly overwhelmed by accusations and assumptions, mostly unfounded, about who was responsible and how the shootings fit into the story of a divided and angry nation.

With five of his colleagues dead and two others wounded, Jimmy DeButts, an editor at the Capital, felt compelled to offer a defense of the work his colleagues do. He begged people on Twitter to “stop asking for information/interviews. I’m in no position to speak, just know @capgaznews reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays—just a passion for telling stories from our community.”

Journalists immediately began reporting the tragedy as it unfolded around them, demonstrating Twitter’s power to tell stories in real time.

Others at the paper were defiant. Chase Cook tweeted that there would be a “damn newspaper” the next day, and the official Twitter handle for the paper agreed:

The newspaper also used its Twitter feed for updates and to share stories about the shooting victims:

The paper was true to its word and produced the paper just hours after the shooting.

The work was seen as heroic by many on social media:

The paper was spare in its words to describe the depth of its loss.  On its opinion page it left acres of white space, creating a striking visual that spoke louder than words:

(image via)

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