Press Freedom Defense Fund Statement Regarding the Killing of Five Capital Gazette Employees in Annapolis, Maryland


New York, NY, June 29, 2018 – Five people were killed in the newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland yesterday. The suspect is in custody but his motive is still unknown. 

We want to express our heartfelt sympathy to the victims’ families, and to everyone impacted by this tragedy, which has unfortunately become all too common.  

Violence of any kind is unacceptable. Robert Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith were doing their job — working to inform the public and challenging those in power — and they were killed in cold blood. 

The Press Freedom Defense Fund joins our journalism colleagues in honoring their legacy and vowing to support and uphold the First Amendment and everything it stands for.  We must not forget the vital role an open, independent press plays every day, despite those who reprehensibly disrespect and unjustly attack the media. 

To the staff of the Capital Gazette, keep putting out that damn paper. 

James Risen
Director, Press Freedom Defense Fund

Kate Myers
Deputy Director, Press Freedom Defense Fund 


First Look Media’s Press Freedom Defense Fund supports journalists, filmmakers, whistleblowers and news organizations pursuing legal fights where a substantial public interest, freedom of the press, or related human and civil rights are at stake. Grants under this program are used to fund challenges to policies or actions that restrict press freedom and obstruct access to essential information in the United States and around the world.


Jeannie Kedas

Press Freedom