They put out the ‘damn paper’ — The Capital Gazette goes on

WASHINGTON — Just hours after a shooting that left five of his colleagues dead Thursday, a reporter at the Capital Gazette tweeted “I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow.”

And on Friday, they did just that.

Even though the headline read “5 shot dead at The Capital,” they put out the damn paper. In front of homes around Anne Arundel County, and selling out of convenience stores around Annapolis, the paper carried the staff pictures of the five people gunned down inside their newsroom on Thursday afternoon.

The lead story describing the situation carried 10 bylines, and more stories inside came from staff writers from the Baltimore Sun, whose parent company also owns The Capital.

Those stories focused on other angles of the incident: One looked at the suspected shooter, 38-year-old Jarrod Ramos, and his long-running grudge against the Capital Gazette over coverage of a minor conviction several years ago. Another runs down the history of the paper, which dates to the 1720s.

But the opinion page was nearly blank, with just a few words in the middle of the white sheet.

They read, “Today, we are speechless. This page is intentionally left blank today to commemorate victims of Thursday’s shootings at our office,” along with the names and a promise that “Tomorrow this page will return to its steady purpose of offering our readers informed opinion about the world around them, that they might be better citizens.”

The paper also carries its weekly entertainment insert, and even included stories written by staff members yesterday that focus on other stories relevant to the county.

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

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