WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) — As the anniversary of the Capital Gazette shooting in Annapolis approaches this Friday, there’s new effort to build a memorial to fallen journalists in D.C. The news comes as the future of a journalist memorial already at the Newseum is in question.
David Dreier, the chairman of Tribune Publishing, says he’s launching a foundation to build a national memorial for journalists killed in the line of duty. It will not only be for the five people killed in the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette last year, but all journalists killed while doing their jobs. Sen. Ben Cardin is sponsoring the legislation on Capitol Hill.
“We want it to be here on Federal property on The Mall complex in a convenient location. There would be no federal funds used — it will be all private sector donations. That’s why it requires legislation,” said Cardin.
Last June, a gunman entered the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, killing Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters. The new memorial would also honor journalists like Jamal Khashoggi of the Washington Post.
Officials tell FOX 5 there are several sites on the National Mall being considered.
A journalists memorial already exists in Washington at the Newseum, but they plan to close its current facility and move to a new location. The Newseum told FOX 5 the memorial will continue online until a new location is found. Cardin says a national memorial is needed now more than ever before.
“We’ve seen attacks on journalists around the world including Democratic states. We’ve got language here in America that’s inappropriate concerning journalists — ‘fake news’ and those types of issues compromise the free press,” said Cardin.
FOX 5 spoke to Rick Hutzell, editor of The Capital, who told us the staff has decided not to do interviews this week in anticipation of the anniversary, but he will serve on the foundation’s boards advisory panel.
The plans for the new memorial are set to be unveiled at the National Press Club on Wednesday morning.