Newsrooms around the world observed a moment of silence at 2:33 p.m. Eastern time Thursday — one week after a gunman opened fire in the Capital Gazette newspaper’s Annapolis office and killed five employees.
The American Society of News Editors and Associated Press Media Editors issued a statement calling for the moment of silence, saying the shooting “tears at our hearts, tugs at our compassion and calls forth our fears for the safety of all those on the front lines of truth, accountability and journalistic pursuit.”
The victims were Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. Fischman and Hiaasen were editors, McNamara was a reporter, Smith was a sales assistant and Winters was an editor and community reporter.
The Baltimore Sun Media Group, which owns the Capital Gazette, announced plans for a moment of silence Monday. The Philadelphia Inquirer, CNN and NPR were among the newsrooms that participated.
In Annapolis, a small group stood in silence at a memorial near the newspaper’s building.
The names of the victims were read aloud in some newsrooms, including those of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk and the Courier-Journal in Louisville.
“It was incredibly quiet,” Virginian-Pilot reporter Jane Harper, who worked at the Annapolis paper from 1987 to 1991, told the Associated Press. “Not a cellphone rang. Not a desk phone. Not a single sound.”
At The Washington Post, an email reminder about the moment of silence went out at 2:32 p.m. A minute later, phone interviews ended and keyboard clacking fell silent. Some reporters gathered around television screens as cable news aired a live feed from the Capital Gazette newsroom.
At 2:34 p.m., the moment ended and work resumed.
In a column published Thursday before the moment of silence, Capital Gazette Communications Editor Rick Hutzell wrote a tribute to survivors of the attack — “those who must now move on,” as he put it.
“We will continue to honor our dead,” he wrote. “But we also will remember those who remain.
“They were journalists. And so are we.”
At the Capital Gazette, journalists lit candles and Hutzell rang a bell for each victim after the moment of silence ended. It’s “a long tradition in the Capital Gazette, a company with newspapers tracing back nearly 300 years, to ring a bell before meetings,” the newspaper’s story said.
“Every time we ring that bell, we’re going to think about our friends,” Hutzell said.
Authorities say Jarrod Ramos, 38, made threats against the Capital Gazette, accusing the newspaper of defaming him in a column that described him pleading guilty to harassing a woman over social media. The defamation case was dismissed.
Ramos is charged with five counts of murder. He is being held without bond.