It is our experience that most people who toil in them feel that journalism is some sort of higher calling — or as the legendary Ben Bradlee often described it, “a holy profession.”
There are always a few curmudgeons, but by and large newsrooms are filled with decent, honest people who care deeply about their communities, their audience, their colleagues, and their craft. They enjoy telling stories — good ones as well as bad ones — and most are well aware the history of their calling.
Most take exceptional pride in constructing and delivering — on deadline — a print newspaper, program, website, or broadcast.
These are, of course, intensely challenging but fundamentally important times to be working in journalism. The public has long been suspicious of the conduct of journalists. We are not held in high regard like nurses or firefighters — in part because its our job to report bad news.
It has been said the other people’s tragedies are opportunities for journalists, and there is a certain truth to that. When dreadful news happens, the audience wants to know “who did what why.”
Our hearts go out to our colleagues in the Capital Gazette newsroom today. Here is a brief compilation of tweets that express what many are feeling:
Tomorrow this Capital page will return to its steady purpose of offering readers informed opinion about the world around them. But today, we are speechless. pic.twitter.com/5HzKN2IW7Q
— Capital Gazette (@capgaznews) June 29, 2018
Journalists tell the stories of our communities, protect democracy, & often put their lives on the line just to do their jobs. Today’s attack in Annapolis is devastating. Our hearts go out to all the victims & their families.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) June 29, 2018
"Yes, we're putting out a damn paper tomorrow," the Capital Gazette news outlet said late Thursday night. They did. https://t.co/GO14DlED9x
— NPR (@NPR) June 29, 2018
Journalists are NOT your enemy.
We are your neighbors.
Our kids play soccer together.
We are in your congregations.
We are Americans.
— Jake Lowary (@JakeLowary) June 28, 2018
— Mandy Jenkins (@mjenkins) June 29, 2018