Editorial: Following events at Capital Gazette, journalism is more important than ever

Our thoughts and prayers lie with the victims and families in Annapolis, while the Gazette’s example is one we should follow.

Thursday afternoon, the United States witnessed yet another deadly attack. This time, the target was Annapolis, Maryland newspaper the Capital Gazette, after a man infiltrated its office and began to open fire on the Gazette staff. The motive for this man was clear, as he had been in dispute with the paper since he brought a defamation suit upon a columnist and the organization’s editor and publisher, who had published a 2011 article highlighting a criminal harassment case against him. The judge sided with the Capital Gazette at trial and the decision was later upheld by an appeals court.

The Minnesota Daily sends our utmost thoughts, prayers and many well wishes to the victims, families, friends and journalists at the Capital Gazette. Reporting about attacks like this are always difficult, but no one can imagine the difficulty when the victims are your friends and coworkers. Yet, the Capital Gazette printed the following day, with staff undeterred from reporting the news, as they had done since their first edition. The attack on the Capital Gazette was clearly meant to stop the paper from reporting, writing and publishing, a right that is deemed important enough to be protected in the First Amendment and one that we take very seriously. 

We would like to address the importance of journalism in both nationally published and local newspapers. We strive everyday to find the truth and report to the public our findings, as is our duty. Our colleagues at the Capital Gazette were doing just that when they published the article about a man who would later bring so much pain. In a time where journalists and news companies endure criticism constantly, the Capital Gazette proved that they would not be stopped. Even as U.S. President Donald Trump initially denied Annapolis mayor Gavin Buckley’s request to draw the United States flags to half mast, the Capital Gazette printed on behalf of its fallen colleagues and its unrelenting devotion to journalism. Just as they continued, we will as well, both in remembrance of our fellow journalists in Annapolis and to continue to uphold the reasons for which journalism is necessary; for truth and justice.