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

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

From left: Mint Cleaning Service founders Monika Scott and Robyn Pook, The Den founders Kristen O’Keefe and Diane Rudge, and Black Rock managers Adele Larkin and Lara Kemps celebrate their new partnership. (Jordan Dyck photo)
West Coast businesswomen empower hospitality industry to champion a zero waste, ocean-friendly future

“Always surround yourself with women who support you and challenge you.”

Pluvio Restaurant has temporarily closed due to a staff member testing positive for COVID-19. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Ucluelet’s Pluvio Restaurant announces positive COVID-19 test

Ucluelet mayor commends business for transparency.

Dan Law is Tofino’s new mayor. (Westerly file photo)
UPDATED: Dan Law elected mayor of Tofino

Cathy Thicke and Jacky Challenger earn council seats.

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

Most Read