19 Sep Fallen Journalists Memorial will honor the life and work of Jeff German
RICK HUTZELL SPECIAL TO THE REVIEW JOURNAL
I didn’t know Jeff German. But I understand the work he did, the level of dedication and professionalism involved, and the risks he faced because of his commitment to a free press.
In my career as a journalist in Annapolis, Maryland, I was stalked by an angry retired police officer. A real estate executive put a tracker on my car after I repeatedly refused to take down coverage of criminal charges against him involving a gun and two exotic dancers at his home.
Then in 2018, five of my friends were murdered in the Capital Gazette newsroom by a man furious about my newspaper’s coverage of his use of social media to harass a high school classmate.
As Americans we tend to take a free press for granted. While it’s listed first among our fundamental rights by our Constitution and our history, we complain about biases or agendas, and lament the spiraling disappearance of local news organizations that have served our communities.
Somehow, we take for granted that journalists will always be there for us when we need an injustice exposed, an accomplishment celebrated or our sense of community reaffirmed.