NEWS RELEASE: 500 organizations and individuals sign on to joint statement condemning mass murder at the Capital Gazette and negative environment for journalists

Contact: Diana Mitsu Klos, director of engagement (202) 728-7267/ / @SPLC

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the wake of the deadly shootings on June 28 at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, 500 organizations and individuals have signed a statement spearheaded by the Student Press Law Center calling for an end to the environment which threatens journalists. As a Washington Post story noted, Thursday’s mass shooting, which killed five, was the deadliest day for U.S. media since 9/11.

“As an organization that defends and supports the rights of student journalists, we deeply believe in the importance and integrity of journalism as a social good. Where journalists are killed because of their work, we must stand together to condemn the environment that allows such violence to happen. We are gratified that so many organizations and individuals joined us to make a strong statement of support. We send our condolences to the families and colleagues of the victims but pledge to honor their memories by standing up for free, independent and safe news media,”  said Hadar Harris, executive director of the Student Press Law Center.

Here is the full statement:

We condemn, in the strongest terms, the deadly targeting of journalists on June 28 at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to all those affected by Thursday’s events.

In fact, we are all affected by these events. The recent anti-media rhetoric creates an enabling environment for violence against journalists and that, in turn, creates a new challenge to the key tenets of objectivity, independence and fairness which underpin the profession.

As this country debates the place of civility, truth and accountability in our public life, journalists are on the front line, working every day to tell the stories of our communities and to shore up our democracy by helping to create an informed and discerning citizenry. And yet, as they do their work with fewer and fewer resources, they are increasingly villainized (whether student journalists or veteran professionals.)  This act may have been perpetrated by a lone gunman, but the social environment that has demonized journalists gave license to his actions.

On June 28, hours after their colleagues were killed or injured, reporters from the Capital Gazette were at a news conference discussing the events. They were not there as speakers – they were back at work, covering the story of which their fallen colleagues and their paper were the subject.

This is what journalists do. Journalists are not the enemy of the people.  They should be raised up and protected. Their important role in defending and affirming the First Amendment, informing an engaged public, and protecting democracy should be honored instead of ridiculed. And at no point, should they be the subject of calls to violence or targeting.

We commit to living up to the legacy of the committed journalists who were gunned down, because a free, independent and safe media is essential to maintaining democracy.

Student Press Law Center
American Journalism Historians Association
American Society of Journalists and Authors
American Society of News Editors
Annenberg School of Journalism, University of Southern California
Associated Press Media Editors
Association of Alternative Newsmedia
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
Association of Health Care Journalists
Ball State University, Department of Journalism Faculty
Biola University Department of Media, Journalism and Public Relations
Boston Magazine
Broadband Legal
California Scholastic Journalism Initiative (CSJI)
California News Publishers Association (CNPA)
Canadian Anti-Hate Network
Cape Cod Chronicle
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Scholastic Journalism
Central Arizona National Lawyers Guild
Central Michigan Life
College Media Business and Advertising Managers, Inc.
Collegian Media Group-Kansas State
Colorado Student Media Association
Connecticut Daily Newspapers Association
Connecticut Society for Professional Journalists
Democracy Fund
Eagle Nation Online, Prosper (Texas) High School
Equal Justice Society
Express Newspapers
First Look Media
Fourth Estate Public Benefit Corp.
Free Speech Coalition
Freedom Forum Institute
Freedom of the Press Foundation
Global Witness
Government Information Watch
Griffon News – Missouri Western State University
Harvard-Westlake Chronicle
Henderson State University
Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Minnesota
Hudson Litchfield News
Indiana Collegiate Press Association
Indiana Daily Student
Influence Consulting
Innovation News Center, University of Florida
James Madison University School of Media Arts & Design
Journalism and Women Symposium (JAWS)
Journalism Education Association (JEA)
Julie Pike
Kansas Press Association
Kettle Moraine Press Association
Knight-Wallace Fellowships for Journalists
Los Angeles Loyolan
MDDC Press Association (Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia)
MDDC Press Foundation
Media Diversity Forum
Milton Times
Minnesota Newspaper Association
NAACP,  Washington Bureau
National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)
National Coalition Against Censorship
National Press Club
National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ)
New England Newspaper and Press Association
New York Press Association
New York Publishers Association
Northwestern News–Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Open the Government
Pacific Northwest Association Of Journalism Educators
Palo Alto High Media Arts Center
Peace Brigades International – USA
PEN America
Press Freedom Defense Fund, First Look Media
Prison Diaries
Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA)
Record-Journal & The Westerly Sun
San Francisco Foghorn – University of San Francisco
Seven Days
Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law
Society for Collegiate Journalists (SCJ)
Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ)
Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)
South Carolina Press Association
South Carolina Scholastic Press Association
Southern Interscholastic Press Association (SIPA)
St. Louis Society of Professional Journalists
Stowe Reporter
Talon Student Media, The University of Texas at Tyler
The Courier – Chemeketa Community College
The Daily Aztec
The Daily Free Press
The Day (New London, Conn.)
The Deerfield Valley News
The Hawks’ Herald – Roger Williams University
The Keene Sentinel
The Newtown Bee
The Saturday Paper, Australia
The Spectrum – University at Buffalo
The Torch – Ferris State University
The University Star – Texas State University
Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression
Tiger Broadcast
Vermont Independent Media/The Commons
VHS Riptide
Western Herald, Western Michigan University
Woodhull Freedom Foundation
Youth Journalism International (YJI)
Zenger Consulting

Aaron Tolentino
Abena Hutchful
Adam Schrag
Adell Crowe
Adrianne Flynn
Alyssa Giacobbe
Ana Avila
Ann Auman
Ann Visser
Andrea Frantz
Andrea Watson
Andrew Kirkaldy
Anita Teekah
Annie Sherman
April Tibbs
Ashley Studley
Barbara Bealor Hines
Becky DiBiasio
Bella Ross
Bernadette Cranmer
Bernardo H. Motta
Beth Dickey
Beth Parke
Bey-Ling Sha
Bill Chaisson
Bill Huntzicker
Bill Oates
Bob Adams
Brad Prendergast
Brent Weber
Bruce McFarland
Brian Fraga
Briana Monahan
Bryant Carpenter
Caitlin McBride
Cameron Drummond
Candace Page
Caralie Ford
Carol Brooks Ball
Carol Brzozowski
Carol J. Pardun
Carol Smith
Caroline Bettinger-Lopez
Carolyn Blum
Catherine Staub
Cathy Resmer
Chad Bernheisel
Chante Lasco
Charles Bierbauer
Charles St. Amand
Chris Ison
Chris Twombley
Christina Seanor
Christina Sheetz
Christine Peterson
Christopher T. Assaf
Conner Mitchell
Cynthia Mitchell
Dahlia Lithwick
Danielle Dieterich
Danielle Kilgo
Darla Tresner
Dave Clark
David Clark
David Guth
David Nordman
David Lanson
David Swartzlander
Dawn Wolfe
Deanna Hand
Deb Spilko
Deborah Alejandra Popowski
Deborah Dreyfuss-Tuchman
Deborah Lowe-Murray
Deborah Silverman
Denise DiStephan
Derek Morgan
Deserae Weitmann
Diana Mitsu Klos
Dianne Bragg
Dina Haynes
Dineen Wasylik
Don Dwight
Donald Cloutier
Donald W. Meyers
Donica Mensing
Donna Bertazzoni
Donna Lampkin Stephens
Donna Whitehead
Doreen Dimitri Picozzi
Dorothy Bland
Doug Pils
Doug Mendenhall
Edward T. Arke
Edmund Sullivan
Edward Jay Friedlander
Elisia L. Cohen
Elisa Fitzgerald
Elizabeth Banker
Elizabeth Cyr
Elizabeth Donald
Elizabeth Leigh
Emily Burnham
Emily J. Gertz
Emily Minty
Emma Llanso
Eric P. Robinson
Eric Thomas
Erica Gies
Erik Allison
Erin Gibson
Ernest R. Sotomayor
Ernest Wiggins
Ethan Coston
G. Stuart Smith
Gabriel Tait
Gail Spector
Garrett Epps
Gary Lindsay
Gene Murray
Genelle Belmas
Geoff Carr
George Sylvie
Gerald Kosicki
Gerri Berendzen
Glenn Morehouse Olson
Gloria Gonzalez
Gloria Olman
Gordon Stables
Greg Reibman
Hadar Harris
Hans Schulz
Harry Katopodis
Heather L. Emory
Helen F. Smith
Ilsa Cowen
Ilya Arbit
Ira Chinoy
Jack Lakowsky
Jack Kennedy
Jacqueline Mink
James Franklin
James Miller
James Neal
James Silk
James D. Kelly
Jamil Dakwar
Janis Hunt
Jane Blystone
Jane Eisner
Jane E. Kirtley
Janet Marinelli
Janet Wu
Janine Latus
JB McDaniel
Jeannette Ross
Jeanette Kruzak
Jennifer Adams
Jennifer Beach
Jennifer Brown
Jennifer Chaffman
Jennifer Cox
Jennifer Green
Jennifer Greer
Jennifer Karchmer
Jennifer McGill
Jenny Kupperstein
Jessica Clary
Jessica Diklich
Jim Falzone
Jo-Ann Huff Albers
Joanne Fanizza
Jocelyn Van Saun
Joe Humphrey
John Bowen
John Crittenden
John Fohner
John Kinney
John Marston
Johnny Sparks
Joshua Fisher
Judith Sylvester
Judy Gibbs Robinson
Julia Malakie
Julia Satterthwaite
Julie Seraphinoff Price
Justin Raisner
Kaitlin Edgerton, CJE
Karen Ford
Karen Mallia
Karen McIntyre
Karl Meyer
Kate Collins
Kate Plows
Katherine McNamara
Katherine Patrick
Kathiann M. Kowalski
Kathie Florsheim
Kathleen Flores
Kathy Roberts Forde
Kathy Spurlock
Katie Jickling
Katina Paron
Kay Coyte
Kaylene Armstrong
Kelly Davis
Kelly Glasscock
Kemi Giwa
Ken Costlow
Ken PicardKenneth Miller
Keri Kemble
Kersten Kruse
Kevin Blackistone
Kevin Goldberg
Kim Bissell
Kim Green
Kim Pearson
Kimberly Lauffer
Kimberly Vasseur
Kristin  Bender
Kristin Taylor
Kristy Dekat
Kyle Miller
L. Kelly
L. Stee
Laura Jett Krantz
Laura Kuehn
Laura Negri
Laurie Erdmann
Laurie Volkmann
Lawrence Wayman
Leigh Rogers
Lilah Rosenblum
Lili Sajecki
Linda Bowen
Linda S. Puntney
Linda Steiner
Linda Wasmer Andrews
Lindsay Benedict
Lindsay Tice
Lisa Burns
Lisa Strattan
Liz Seegert
Logan Aimone
Lori Keekley
Louis Bubala
Lynda Vallatini
Lynne DeLucia
Lynn Eckersley-Ray
M. Scott Carter
Mari Nicholson
Mariana De Maio
Marie K. Shanahan
Marina Hendricks
Mark Butzow
Mark Witherspoon
Martin Finucane
Mark Newton
Mark Schleifstein
Mark Webber
Mary Hansel
Mary Kay Downes MJE
Mary Stapp
Matthew Cate
Matthew Nadler
Matthew Schafer
Maureen Croteau
Melissa Pionzio
Merrill Morris
Megan Graft
Meta G. Carstarphen
Michael Ciolino
Michael Hoffer
Michael Rosenblum
Michelle Huss
Michelle Kennedy
Michelle Lester
Michelle O’Malley
Michelle Peltier
Miglena Sternadori
Mike Cote
Mike McKibbin
Mitchell Kukulka
Mo Mehlsak
Mona Rosenthal
Monica Kast
Morgan Gonsoskj
Nabiha Syed
Nancy Gaarder
Nancy Hastings
Nancy Roberts
Nora Pelizzari
Nuala O’Connor
Paola Banchero
Pat McDonald
Pat McNees
Patricia Gallagher Newberry
Patricia Roy
Patricia Thompson
Patrick File
Patrick Walters
Paul LaTour
Paul Niwa, CJE
Paulette Walter
Pedro Cabrera
Peter Ellis Yankowski
Peter Howard
Peter Laufer
Peter Mancusi
Philip Effiom Ephraim
Phyllis Booth
Rachele Kanigel
Rafael Lorente
Ralph Izard
Randolph D. Brandt
Randy Lee Loftis
Rasha El-Ibiary
Ray Hiebert
Rebecca Humphrey
Richard Hendrickson
Richard K. Lodge
Rob Marino
Robert Bergland
Robert Calandra
Rod Satterthwaite
Roger Soenksen
Roger Witherspoon
Rosemary Pennington
Roy Vallatini
Ruth Witmer
Ryan Bourgoin
Ryan Sparrow
Sabrina Sacks Mann
Sacha Bellman
Samantha Barry
Samantha Franks
Samantha Gerwe-Perkins
Samuel Breslow
Sandra Gaul
Sandra S. Baron
Sarah Champagne
Sarah Nichols
Sarah Oates
Sarah Siff
Sawyer Click
Scott B. Anderson
Scott Bradley
Scott Reinardy
Sean Berleman
Serge Danielson-Francois
Shanna Devine
Sharon Stringer
Shawne Wickham
Sheri Westerfeld Lewis
Sian Gibby
Sonny Rhodes
Sophie Gordon
Stacy Haynesmoore
Stephanie Mallard
Stephanie Martin
Stephynie Perkins
Steve Thurston
Steven Chappell
Steve Collins
Steven Listopad
Sue Gill
Susan Abbott
Susan Duncan
Susan V. Everett, MJE
Susan Massy
Susan Novak
Susan Sutton, CJE
Susan Tantillo
Sybel Alger
Tammy Merrett
Taylor Dobbs
Thomas Heslin
Thomas McCann
Tim Gleason
Tim Kane
Todd Barnard
Tom Gayda
Tom Kearney
Tom Winski, MS, MJE
Tony Scott
Tracy Anne Sena
Tracy Schmaler
Tracey Yates Thompson
Tripp Robbins
Valentina Kuykendall
Veronica Rexford
Vicki McCash Brennan
Victor Greto
Victoria Woeste
Wayna Criswell Polk
Wendy Watkins
Wendy Turner
Will Fritz
William Neville
Yvette Walker

This list grew from 200 endorsers late Friday afternoon to more than 400 on Sunday. We are keeping it open so you or your organization can sign on.


Since 1974, the Student Press Law Center has been the nation’s only legal assistance organization devoted exclusively to supporting the student news media in covering important issues free from censorship. The SPLC trains high school and college journalists about the rights and responsibilities embodied in the First Amendment and also works with journalism advisers and school administrators to support student media. A nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c(3), the SPLC provides free legal resources and information as well as low-cost educational materials for student journalists on a wide variety of topics at