NUJ expresses condolences, solidarity & support for Capital Gazette
29 June 2018
In the wake of last night’s shootings at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis the National Union of Journalists in the UK and Ireland (NUJ) has sent condolences, solidarity and support to our colleagues in America.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
"The killings of journalists doing their jobs at the Capital Gazette is a shocking and devastating blow to the community of Annapolis - a community staff at the newspaper had served for many years - and beyond. Our collective thoughts at this awful time are with the families and colleagues of the five staff members murdered.
"The motivation of this terrible act is not yet clear. However at a time when American politics are so febrile, when even a president feels able to depict journalists as 'enemies of the people' it is vital that the world rallies to affirm the vital role that journalists play in local and national democracy and in our societies."
Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:
"Once again, journalism and the press have been attacked in this senseless shooting. Beyond the debate over firearms in the United States, attacking a newsroom is a serious violation of freedom of expression and freedom of the press. This odious act also reminds us that journalists are not safe anywhere, whether in a country at war, in a conflict zone or in a democracy. Every week since 1 January 2018, two journalists or media workers have been murdered worldwide, according to the IFJ's latest count and the large majority of them are local journalists working for local media. The ones one least reports on, unfortunately."
The local union and IFJ affiliate, SAG-AFTRA expressed its sadness over the news of the shooting:
"Our hearts go out to all the victims and their families. As a union that counts journalists among its members, we stand with our colleagues at the Capital Gazette. We remain concerned that journalists are increasingly operating under the threat of violence and intimidation, and SAG-AFTRA will continue to work with employers to ensure safe workplaces across the country."
Staff at the Capital Gazette have published a Friday edition, after a gunman killed five people and injured more at the local paper's office. Authorities have named the victims of the shooting:
- Wendi Winters, 65, editor and community reporter
- Robert Hiaasen, 59, assistant editor and columnist
- Gerald Fischman, 61, editorial writer
- John McNamara, 56, reporter and editor
- Rebecca Smith, 34, sales assistant