Capital Gazette Shooter Awaits Trial, Staff Become The Story : Embedded Part 3: The Capital Gazette takes on a new beat: itself. As the shooter's case works its way towards trial, the staff tries to balance coverage obligations with personal feelings.

Here is Capital photographer Paul Gillespie's stunning collection of photographs of the newspaper's staff and the families of the victims.
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Capital Gazette: "I Know He Did It"

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Capital Gazette: "I Know He Did It"

Capital Gazette: "I Know He Did It"

Capital Gazette: "I Know He Did It"

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/973276696/973539876" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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ANNAPOLIS, MD - JUNE 28: Pat Furgurson (right), a reporter for the Capital Gazette, awaits a press briefing involving today's shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 28, 2018. (Photo by Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images) The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images hide caption

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The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images

ANNAPOLIS, MD - JUNE 28: Pat Furgurson (right), a reporter for the Capital Gazette, awaits a press briefing involving today's shooting in Annapolis, Maryland, on June 28, 2018. (Photo by Calla Kessler/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

The Washington Post/The Washington Post via Getty Images

After the shooting on June 28, 2018, Capital Gazette editor-in-chief Rick Hutzell had a decision to make. With the gunman in custody awaiting trial, Hutzell had to figure out how his staff could cover the story. After all, they were the story.

But this was also one of the biggest events in Annapolis history, and the Capital serves Annapolis. That mission — serving the community — drove Hutzell.

"I felt it was crucial for who we are [that] the Capital visibly cover this," Hutzell said, "and try and maintain a sense of objectivity."

But achieving unbiased coverage was just the tip of the iceberg. As the trial drew near, Rick had two jobs to do: Manage coverage while also creating space for his traumatized staff, some of whom were preparing to testify in the trial.

As he told his staff in one meeting: "Anybody who, as we go through this, needs to... take a breather during all this, needs help, please let me know."

The Capital Gazette was in uncharted territory. What would it mean to cover the case of the man who murdered five of their colleagues? And even if they could do it fairly, what toll would it take on them emotionally?

Further Reading:

  • "Our Say," the editorial published by the Capital Gazette staff on the day of the plea
  • "One Year After June 28," letters of thanks from the Capital Gazette staff to the people and places that supported them after the attack
  • "Journalists Matter: Faces of The Capital Gazette," a collection of photographs of the Capital Gazette staff and the families of the victims by photographer Paul Gillespie