Freedom Forum Institute Considers a World without Journalists and Recognizes Journalists Who Died in 2018

Imagine a world without journalists. What would a world without them to report the news look like?

Today, June 3, 2019, we recognize why safeguarding journalists around the world is essential. This morning, at 10 a.m., the Freedom Forum Institute and Newseum will rededicate the Journalists Memorial. Daisy Sindelar, acting president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Capital Gazette Editor Rick Hutzell and Fred Hiatt, editorial page editor of The Washington Post, will deliver remarks during the ceremony.

The 21 journalists being recognized are representative of all journalists who died while reporting the news in 2018.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, 54 journalists across the globe were killed on the job last year. Of those 54 journalists, four were from the United States — Capital Gazette staffers who died during a tragic shooting. Below is their story:

The afternoon buzz of the Capital Gazette newsroom was shattered on June 28, 2018, by a shotgun blast that shattered the glass doors of the office. Staffers hid under desks and behind filing cabinets. Some tried to escape through the back door, but the gunman had barricaded it shut. Community beat reporter Wendi Winters, 65, hurled a trash can at the gunman. She was shot dead, along with editorial page editor Gerald Fischman, 61; editor and columnist Rob Hiaasen, 59; sports reporter John McNamara, 56; and sales assistant Rebecca Smith, 34. Hours after the shooting, reporter Chase Cook posted on Twitter, “I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.” The Capital Gazette staff was awarded a special citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in April 2019 for their courageous commitment to report the news after the tragedy.

In addition to the powerful events that unfolded at the Capital Gazette, two reporters for WYFF 4, based in Greenville, S.C., were killed when a tree hit their SUV while they were covering tropical storm Alberto. The 21 journalists honored today were killed in seven separate incidents. View the complete list of journalists added to the memorial and browse the Journalists Memorial Database to learn their stories.

Also today, no newspapers will be displayed in the Today’s Front Pages exhibit outside the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, inside the Newseum or online. In their place will be blacked-out pages featuring the hashtag #WithoutNews. This annual #WithoutNews campaign encourages the public to consider a world without journalists and draws attention to the constant threats and dangers that journalists across the globe face. Join the campaign by updating your profile picture.

Now is the time to stand with journalists around the world.

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