Maryland

‘A Great and Terrible Thing:' Capital Gazette Named TIME Person of the Year, Honored at University of Maryland

"I would give this all back just to be able to go back to our old office and see all them," Gazette photographer Paul Gillespie said

Rick Hutzell, an editor at the Capital Gazette, says he thinks every day about his five colleagues who were killed in the newsroom's shooting.

Time Magazine included Annapolis' Capital Gazette as one of four covers naming Person of the Year as The Guardians — journalists who faced repression and violence around the globe.

Talking to News4 after the covers debuted, Hutzell and other staff expressed a wish that the horrific massacre that threw a community paper into the national spotlight had never occurred.

"This very lovely decision by TIME to put us on their cover along with the others... It's a great honor. It's a terrible thing to win a great honor of any kind at such a cost," Hutzell said.

"I would give this all back just to be able to go back to our old office and see all them," Gazette photographer Paul Gillespie said.

On the same day as the Person of the Year announcement, the University of Maryland planned to honor the five journalists killed in the attack.

At the Maryland basketball game, the whole Xfinity Center observed a moment of silence for the five Capital Gazette shooting victims.

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A courtside seat was also dedicated to McNamara, the slain sports reporter who covered the Terrapins and graduated from the university.

McNamara met his wife there about 30 years ago, and they were together ever since.

"It's so heartening to see this kind of response," Andrea Chamblee said.

A room in the Phillip Merril College of Journalism has been named the Capital Gazette Memorial Seminar Room in the memory of the victims: Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.

Maria Hiaasen, the wife of reporter and shooting victim Rob Hiaasen, said that was bittersweet.

"If the worst hadn't happened last summer, this would not be," she said. "But we can't go back."

Hiaasen was an adjunct lecturer at the journalism school. Fischman and McNamara earned their bachelor's degrees from the university decades ago. Spread out in front of the memorial were copies of The Diamondback student newspaper that included articles Fischman and McNamara wrote during their undergraduate years.

Trif Alatzas, publisher and editor-in-chief of Baltimore Sun Media Group, which includes the Capital Gazette, said the memorial is "such a wonderful tribute to our dear colleagues" and their families.

"We mourn with you, and we are inspired by the memories you have shared with us all,'' he said of the slain employees' relatives. "We will make sure they are never forgotten."

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