Instead of covering the Annapolis Fourth of July parade this year, the staff of the Capital Gazette will be featured in it.
The Capital staff will march in the parade less than a week after a gunman killed five reporters, editors and members of the business staff in their newsroom.
“Normally, we cover the Fourth of July parade in Annapolis,” the newspaper staff said in a statement about their parade participation. “Generations of our young reporters have learned that this is the core of what a community newspaper such as The Capital does.”
“Today, though, we will be among those faces,” the statement continued. “We are going to be part of the parade.”
In wake of horrific tragedy and the loss of their colleagues, the Capital staff has shown resilience in their reporting and ability to cover the shooting that they survived. Reporters, photographers and editors rallied to put out the next day’s newspaper, just hours after the shooting last week, and they continued to report on the tragedy in the days that followed.
The city of Annapolis invited the staff to march in the parade, according to NBC’s Washington, D.C., affiliate. The staff accepted the offer, they said, for the community.
The staff joked that they may be most recognizable in the parade based not on their attire or (lack of) banners, but rather from their “vaguely lost expressions” and lack of experience. “It will be unusual for us to walk together in the same rough direction if we’re being totally honest here,” they wrote. “The news staff of The Capital feels out of place being part of the event rather than on the sidelines taking notes or producing video.”
It’s not a political move, either, the staff wrote. It’s to show they will recover as a community, together:
Annapolis’s Fourth of July parade begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Read the Capital‘s full statement on their participation in the parade this year here.
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