Capital Gazette Reporter Chase Cook’s tweet after the deadly mass shooting in his newsroom was a statement every journalist across the country can relate to. It was bold. It was inspiring. It was honest.
As I came into work Friday, June 29 – the day after the shooting in Annapolis, Maryland – Covington News Sports Editor Gabriel Stovall asked me the very question: “Would you be able to put a paper today if that was us?” He asked me this as I was laying out the front page of the weekend edition and I stopped dead in my tracks.
Of course I would.
As journalists, this is what we do. We deliver the news. The task is hard enough when everything is going well; imagine what it’s like when things are going south.
As a fellow journalist, I knew the Capital Gazette staff would put out a paper. Of course they would. They had every right to be selfish and stop work. No one would have blamed them. That’s just not how things work in our field.
We have advertisers we’ve committed to. We have subscribers waiting for their morning edition. We have stories that need to be told.
The Capital Gazette staff proved that journalism is not dead. It is alive and will survive anything.
As a salute to those at the Capital Gazette who lost their lives and those who rallied in the aftermath, The Covington News has changed its slogan this week.
You might have noticed it, or you might have skimmed past that blue bar across the front page without a second thought. Either way, this week it is different. While we will continue to always tell the story of your life, today we’re putting out a damn paper.
Jackie Gutknecht is the managing editor of The Covington News. She can be reached at email@example.com or 770-728-14009. Twitter: @jackieg1991