The Newsroom At 55 Park Place – Chapter 9 – We Interrupt This Story Line For Another Bulletin

    The Newsroom At 55 Park Place

                                                               By Don Storch

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                                                       Books By Don Storch

                                              The Newsroom At 55 Park Place
                                                       Snakes in the Swamp
      If a Passive-Progressive Leads from behind he is a Double Oxymoron

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    Dedication

            This book is dedicated to my Mom and Dad, mentors of an only child, with daily memories of loving gratefulness, Viola Pauline (Helmstatt) Storch (1910 – 1969) and George John Storch (1903-1969)

                                                                       And To:

                                                       Norman B. Tomlinson Jr
                                                                   (1927-2017)

Chapter 9

We Interrupt This Story Line for Another Bulletin

Once again, I’m in the empty newsroom, it’s quiet but I can hear the AP  ‘A’ wire stirring, the bells are coming to life, the paper roll begins to turn and the machine types and prints.

It’s a bulletin, 2:40 PM, June 28, 2018, a flash forward, the headline reads: “Multiple Deaths Reported in A Shooting in the Newsroom of the Capital Gazette, a local Annapolis Md., newspaper.

The shooter has been captured by police, the motive appears to be a long-term grudge or grievance dating back to 2013, but it now takes place in a social digital environment and culture of divisiveness, harassment and a vitriol of hatred. The police hasn’t yet released any details to the media.

The New York Times and other media, with no facts, jump to the conclusion that President Trump has “blood on his hands” because of his past attacks on the media for ‘fake news’ and his comments that declared, “the press is the enemy of the people.”

However, the facts, when revealed, disclose there were signs of trouble between the paper and the shooter dating back 6 years, long before Trump was president.

According to newspaper reports, the alleged killer Jarrod Ramos, 38, reportedly had a long-term grudge against the newspaper when he filed a defamation lawsuit against the Gazette in 2012 after it ran a story about him pleading guilty to harassing a woman who was his former high school classmate.

Subsequently Ramos allegedly posted angry, profanity-laced tweets about the paper, its reporters and editors often using the hashtag #CapDeathWatch.”

There were clear signs what was to come it was on the radar of authorities, some was even predicted by editors and reporters from the paper, but nothing was done to prevent the inevitable. 

The dead were identified as:

Gerald Fishman, 61, editorial page editor

Rob Hiaasen, 59, editor and columnist, brother of Carl Hiaasen the author

John McNamara, 56, sports reporter

Rebecca Smith, 34, newly hired sales assistant

And, Wendy Winters, 65, who covered local stories for the paper

May they all Rest in Peace.

The Capital Gazette was a true local newspaper dating back some 300 years. 

It’s 55 employees, many long-time staff were made up of personnel that brought values and news of significance to the community, almost as though it was the glue that held Annapolis together.

The paper and its 55 employees were dealing with the economic times that all papers throughout the nation were dealing with, trying to cope with the times of digital news.

The paper was much like the Morristown Daily Record of old, where there was a place for a local newspaper in a small community that would grow.

You didn’t make a lot of money working for a small town local newspaper, it was a place to start your career and move on, or a place that you fell in love with and decided to make it your home.

I will say, however, that the local daily newspaper of yesterday had more checks and balances to ferret out the truth in reporting the news with honesty and presenting it with civility, then the digital delivery of 24/7 news today.

More often than not, journalists speculate, pontificate, are politically bias and put their words together without letting the facts get in the way of a good story, often with the intent of a bias motive for a cause, thus creating a divisive story for their readers.

To Be Continued . . . 

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