Maryland tragedy

June 29, 2018 |

We now know more about the man who burst into the office of the Capitol Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, Thursday with a shotgun, killing five people and seriously injuring several others.  I won’t print his name, as is my custom with such people, but it appears not to be terrorism nor politically-motivated.  It's personal: he’s held a grudge against the paper since 2012, when it ran an article about his conviction for criminal harassment.  He sued the paper for defamation and lost in 2015.  Ironically, the writer of the article that allegedly sparked his vendetta no longer even works there, and it’s unclear whether any of his victims had anything to do with the story that angered him or even knew about it.


Meanwhile, a big salute to the staff of the Gazette, who despite being traumatized and losing staffers to death and injury, vowed that the next day’s edition would come out, and they worked at home and got it out.  In a time when journalism has been driven into low regard among the public by some of its more visible practitioners’ bias, egomania and lax regard for fact-checking, the Gazette staff just reminded the world what real journalistic professionalism and courage under fire look like.

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  • Deb Bertrand

    06/29/2018 03:47 PM

    "All news is local." That is a bedrock of journalism. Local journalists are so far removed from the national scene TV so-called journalists. A text from one of the reporters who survived beautifully captured what local journalists do for and mean to a community. It's too bad politics has perverted national journalism into pseudo journalism. Do you know what's going on in Europe? On any other continent? In any other place in the U.S. except as it relates to politics? There is no "national news" any more. It's one continuous political campaign, by way of demonizing conservative thought, dictating "American values" and shouting down any departure from it. Marshal McLuhan wrote one of the cornerstone books on journalism and mass media -- The Medium is the Message. Boy, howdy. The media have also forgotten the well known tenet that, "Media can't tell you what to think, but they can tell you what to think about." They don't change anyone's mind...but they can dominate the national discussion. And this gem of truth that Obama deep-sixed and is now paying the price for -- "Change must be incremental." Backlash, anyone?