Capital Gazette Staff Return to Work After The Mass Shooting : Embedded Part 2: How do you try to return to normal after a mass shooting? The Capital Gazette moves into a tiny, temporary office, and staff members confront the challenges of producing a daily paper while dealing with fear and guilt.
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Capital Gazette: "It's OK That We're Alive"

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Capital Gazette: "It's OK That We're Alive"

Capital Gazette: "It's OK That We're Alive"

Capital Gazette: "It's OK That We're Alive"

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/971116561/971225069" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Rick Hutzell, right, the editor for the Capital Gazette, is joined by staff members, from left, reporter Selene San Felice, and photojournalists Paul W. Gillespie and Joshua McKerrow, as he rings a bell during a moment of silence at 2:33 p.m. to commemorate their fallen co-workers on Thursday, July 5, 2018. Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty I hide caption

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Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty I

Rick Hutzell, right, the editor for the Capital Gazette, is joined by staff members, from left, reporter Selene San Felice, and photojournalists Paul W. Gillespie and Joshua McKerrow, as he rings a bell during a moment of silence at 2:33 p.m. to commemorate their fallen co-workers on Thursday, July 5, 2018.

Brian Krista/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty I

What do you do after you've survived a mass shooting? This was a question faced by Selene San Felice, a young reporter who witnessed the shooting at her workplace, the Capital Gazette newspaper, in 2018. That evening, Selene's parents took her to a restaurant — such a normal thing to do, but even normal things felt impossible. Sitting in a cramped booth, Selene took stock of her day: "I was first processing, I'm going to die. Then processing, I didn't die...Then you have to look at the menu and decide, do you want a drink?"

When Selene went home with her parents that night, she told them she felt terrible she couldn't save her five colleagues who'd been killed.

"You have to be, now, their words. You have to speak what they can't speak," her mother responded. "So when you're ready, you have to get up, get dressed, go to work. When you're ready."

So how do you return to work after a mass shooting — when work was the target? In this episode, we hear the staff at the Capital Gazette try. Trauma reveals itself in unexpected ways, coworkers struggle to figure out how they fit together as a team, and the staff grapples with the question: Is the newspaper that existed before the shooting the same one that exists after?