Thursday, July 05, 2018

Annapolis' July 4 parade honors freedom of the press; moment of silence to be observed at 2:33 p.m. ET today

Current and former Capital Gazette staff march in the Annapolis parade (Baltimore Sun photo by Jay Reed)
In yesterday's Independence Day parade in Annapolis, Md., several dozen current and former journalists from the Capital Gazette marched in support of freedom of the press and to show solidarity with their community. "Rick Hutzell, The Capital’s editor, said journalists don’t usually participate in such events — they document them. But he felt this time was different. He was heartened by the show of support," Pamela Wood reports for The Baltimore Sun

"We know this is not just our tragedy," Hutzell told Wood. "We are part of Annapolis and we are part of Anne Arundel County. The faces I saw and the friends I saw convinced me it was the right decision to be out there, and to be with our wider family, and it felt good."

Several employees who marched were in the newsroom during the attack last week in which four journalists and a sales assistant were fatally shot. Many marching with the paper wore shirts reading "Journalism matters" and others wore shirts that read "Press on." Other parade floats paid tribute to the newspaper: a banner on the Annapolis Sons of the Signers' float featured a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "The only security of all is in a free press," Wood reports.

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Md., who marched separately from the journalists, also wore a "Press on" shirt. His office forwarded a request from Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley to the White House to order the American flag be lowered in recognition of the recent tragedy. Though Buckley said President Trump initially declined the request, the president ordered the flags lowered to half-staff on July 3. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the president did not decline the request, but was only following proper protocol before making the order, Scott Neuman and Colin Dwyer report for NPR.

Another way to honor the fallen: The American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors are asking newsrooms worldwide to observe a moment of silence at 2:33 p.m. today, exactly one week after the deadly shooting.

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