People gather for a vigil in response to a shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom, Friday, June 29, 2018, in front of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md. Prosecutors say Jarrod W. Ramos opened fire Thursday in the newsroom. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

People gather for a vigil in response to a shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom, Friday, June 29, 2018, in front of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Md. Prosecutors say Jarrod W. Ramos opened fire Thursday in the newsroom. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

EDITORIAL: Maryland journalists killed in pursuit of truth

Five people were gunned down in the Capital Gazette newsroom

“The Capital, like all newspapers, angered people every day in its pursuit of the news. In my day, people protested by writing letters to the editor; today it’s through the barrel of a gun.” – Tom Marquardt

Those are the words from former executive editor and publisher of The Capital Gazette after a gunman opened fire in their Maryland newsroom June 28, killing four in the editorial department and one from the sales department.

A reporter at The Capital did a court story about Jarrod Ramos, the suspected gunman. The story was about his conviction for criminal harassment charges against a female high school classmate. Ramos filed a defamation case against the newspaper and attacked the paper’s employees online. The reporter didn’t want to pursue charges against Ramos and risk making the situation worse. The investigating officer determined there was no threat.

They were wrong.

But you can’t fault the reporter or officers. Ramos’ threats were veiled. They seemed more like online bashing rants.

This incident, however, highlights the fact that reporters die for simply doing their jobs. Last year about 81 reporters worldwide died in targeted killings and crossfire incidents, according to the International Federation of Journalists.

It’s likely that many reporters encounter death threats throughout their career. It’s our job to print the truth and sometimes that isn’t popular. Forbes and Huffington Post writer once said, “If you’re not pissing someone off, you probably aren’t doing anything important.”

It’s not uncommon for reporters to get hate mail and, as journalists, we develop plank thick skin. The verbal and online bashing rolls off like grease from a Teflon pan.

Death threats, however, are another thing. We never get used to them. Neither should the public.

An attack on journalists is an attack on the truth and, in the end, democracy.

– Lisa Joy/Black Press News Services


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Small Works display features work from local artists on wood panels. Panels are available at Ranger Station Art Gallery (File Photo)
Small Works submission deadline approaching

Ranger Station Art Gallery seeks local artists for upcoming display

Signs up at Hope Secondary School inform visitors that the school is a closed campus during the coronavirus pandemic. (Emelie Peacock/Hope Standard)
Second COVID-19 exposure at Hope Secondary School

Fraser Health website lists exposure on Nov. 11 and 12

New Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust.
Chilliwack Chief Ray Fust in the mix for Swiss U20 roster spot

Fust is hoping to make the team that will compete in the World Junior Hockey Championships

An employee at a Chilliwack McDonald’s location tested positive for COVID on Nov. 21 (File photo by The Associated Press)
Employee tests positive for COVID-19 at McDonald’s restaurant in Chilliwack

One case was detected at the Vedder Road location, which briefly closed its doors

Contributed graphic/District of Kent
Snow Angels seek volunteers

As winter is coming, volunteer shovelers are wanted

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers at the project site in Kitimat. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
Forty-one positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak in Kitimat

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Workers arrive at the Lynn Valley Care Centre seniors home, in North Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday, March 14, 2020. It was the site of Canada’s first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Rapid tests ‘not a panacea’ for care homes, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. lacks capacity for daily tests of thousands of workers

(Delta Police Department photo)
Cannabis edibles found in Halloween bag lead B.C. police to illegal lab

Delta police arrested a man and a woman while executing a warrant at a residential property Nov. 20

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A woman being arrested at a Kelowna Value Village after refusing to wear a mask on Nov. 22.(@Jules50278750/Twitter)
VIDEO: Woman arrested for refusing to wear mask at Kelowna Value Village

RCMP claims the woman was uncooperative with officers, striking them a number of times and screaming

B.C. Liberal MLA Shirley Bond questions NDP government ministers in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 19, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Cabinet veteran Shirley Bond chosen interim leader of B.C. Liberals

28-member opposition prepares for December legislature session

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, November 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-19: What do rising positivity rates mean for B.C.? It’s not entirely clear

Coronavirus cases are on the rise but the province has not unveiled clear thresholds for further measures

Most Read