Fiction update timeline; plus, more about the Annapolis shooting

I'll be getting back to work in August. I've been drafting Search for the Jackal in my head, but I've had no time to type it up, and I can't do my normal editing-while-eating because of the bug situation.

Speaking of working under pressure, here's a moving article about the Capital Gazette staff:

'I don't know what else to do': Grieving Capital Gazette journalists cover the massacre of their own newsroom.

Something I didn't mention in my previous post: The reason I applied for a job at The Capital (one of the papers owned by the Capital Gazette) is that I was a journalist for a couple of decades, first as a student and then as a professional. Much of that time was spent covering Maryland community news. I was even an Annapolis reporter, writing for my college newspaper in Annapolis. I lived in Annapolis for five years: four years during college, a half year after college, and then I came back to live there in 2006-7. During college, I regularly read The Maryland Gazette, one of the papers now owned by the Capital Gazette.

These are my colleagues. I know what their previous newsroom looked like - I saw it when I applied for a job there. I know what types of stories they cover, because I've covered the same types of stories as a reporter. Here's an example:

12-year-old leads first Annapolis Pride walk.

I can't begin to say how important I think community journalism is. I deliberately chose to become a community journalist (though I did do some national reporting later) because I believe that community journalism is the foundation for our communities. It's how we learn what is happening in our backyards. It's how we learn whether our local officials are living up to our standards for them. It's how we learn about the little, joyful aspects of life that reporters of national and international news so often neglect to write about. Because community journalists have the freedom to report on so much of what happens in their communities - not only the bad events but also the good events - I think that local news comes the closest that any form of journalism can to showing what human life is really like.

I hope you'll keep the Capital Gazette staff in your thoughts. And if you are in the habit of contacting your elected representatives or similar acts, I hope you'll keep your eye on this story in case there is any concrete way we can stop tragedies like this from happening in the future.

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June 2018

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