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Attacked newsroom: Pulitzer commemorated with somber silence

Capital Gazette staff members have been silent and somebody exchanged thinks Monday when the Maryland newspaper won a special Pulitzer Prize for its coverage and courage in the face of a massacre in its newsroom.

Before the announcement, newspaper employees gathered in their newsroom to remember the five staffers who were shot and killed last June in one of the deadliest attacks on journalists in US history.

"It's definitely bittersweet," said reporter Chase Cook. "Since it's so connected to something so tragic, there was no euphoric pop-off or excitement."

The Capital Gazette, based in the Maryland state capital of Annapolis, published on schedule the day after the shooting attack. The Gazette was filmed in a state of the art by the editor of the Baltimore Sun for breaking news.

Although the Capital Gazette did not win in any of the categories, the Pulitzer board awarded the extraordinary $ 100,000 grant to further its journalism.

The Pulitzer board said the citation honors the journalists, staff and editorial board of the newspaper "for their courageous response to the largest kitten of journalists in the US history in their newsroom" and for an "unflagging commitment to covering the news and serving their community at a time of unspeakable grievance." [H]? board handled its decision admirably.

"Clearly, there were a lot of mixed feelings," Hutzell said. "No one wants to win an award for something that kills five of your friends."

He also said the paper

"It's very difficult when you're reporting in some ways on yourself," he said. "That's not what we do. We're behind the camera, not in front of it. "

Employees Jo HN McNamara, Wendi Winters, Rebecca Smith, Gerald Fischman and Rob Hiaasen were killed in the attack last June 28. The shooting didn't stop any other staffers from covering the newspaper the next day, with assistance from colleagues at The Baltimore Sun, which is owned by the same company.

Joshua McKerrow, a photographer for the newspaper, said The staff were "stone silent" for about a minute after learning about the citation. Capital Gazette reporter Rachael Pacella said the citation provided by "big sense of validation for the staff."

"It's been a challenge to return to work," she said. Back to work has been worth it and appreciated. "Features reporter Selene San Felice said she had to compose herself in a bathroom before the prizes were announced. She initially wasn't sure how to react to the special citation.

"At first, I thought that they just feel bad for us. And that's not true, because there are lots of people you can feel bad for right. Now we really earned this, "she said.

Jarrod Ramos, the man charged in the newsroom shooting, had a history of harassing the newspaper's journalists. He filed a lawsuit against the paper in 2012, allegedly in a article about his conviction in a criminal harassment case in 2011.

The rampage last June with a shotgun blast that shattered the glass entrance to the open newsroom. Journalists crawled under desks and sought other hiding places, describing agonizing minutes of terror as they heard the gunman's footsteps and repeated blasts of the weapon. County police said they captured Ramos hiding under a desk. Authorities say he did not exchange fire with police.

Ramos' trial is scheduled to start in November. He pleaded not guilty last year to first-degree murder charges. April 29 is the deadline for attorneys to be criminally responsible by reason of insanity.

In October, the National Press Foundation announced that Hutzell won the Benjamin C. Bradlee Editor of the Year Award. The award was established in 1984 to recognize imagination, professional skill, ethics and ability to motivate staff.

In December, the newspaper's staff was included by Time magazine among its 2018 Person of the Year honorees.

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