On Thursday afternoon, a gunman broke through the glass at Maryland’s Capital Gazette daily newspaper and killed five reporters. This was a targeted attack, an act of distinct hatred -- a tragic attack on our society.
The five staff members went to work for the sole purpose of serving the public and will not return home to their families, will not return to their duty of telling the stories to the public or live to see justice.
These staff members are: Gerald Fischman, the editorial editor for the newspaper since 1992; Rob Hiaasen, features columnist since 2010, John McNamara, a jack-of-all-trades reporter who worked at the newsroom for over 20 years; Rebecca Smith, a recently hired sales assistant; and Wendi Winters, a news reporter and columnist for over two decades.
We at The Spectrum stand with the staff of The Capital Gazette. We are truly heartbroken over these staff members who made sacrifices every day as journalists for the sake of protecting democracy and lost their lives performing a public service that is crucial to the world and often unappreciated or outright hated.
These are the staff members who reported on sports, news and politics, wrote columns and went into work each day with a relentless commitment to serve the public and tell the stories that need to be told.
We cannot begin to comprehend a world where protecting democracy is viewed by some as an attack on it, and we only hope people will begin to understand the purpose of these journalists and of every journalist.
The Capital Gazette still put out a paper today and reported on the tragedy as it happened. As student journalists and members of the community, we will continue to perform our duties to the students and community of the University at Buffalo as we learn how to serve this vital role.
Hannah Stein is the editor-in-chief and can be reached at email@example.com.