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On June 28, 2018, a gunman opened fire in newsroom of the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland, killing five people.

Among the dead were four of the paper's editors and reporters and a sales assistant. After such a heinous tragedy, no one would have blamed the paper for shutting down for the day. No one would have blinked an eye if everyone who produces the paper had gone home to process the horror, mourn the loss of their friends and colleagues, and get away from the nightmare they had just experienced.

Police investigate the scene after a gunman killed five employees at the Capital Gazette. Photo by Saul Loeb/Getty Images.


But later on the day of the shooting, Capital Gazette reporter Chase Cook tweeted, "I can tell you this: We are putting out a damn paper tomorrow."

And they did. The Capital Gazette came out on schedule on June 29, 2018 — because journalists are amazing.

When the president and others call real journalism "fake news," these are the people they're spitting on.

Journalists are trained to run toward fire, not away from it. They're trained to look for facts and push their feelings to the side. They're trained to share true stories as objectively as possible, to recognize their own biases and do their best not to let those biases cloud their reporting. They are human, but they do their best to not let their human tendencies get in the way of truthfully reporting on what they're seeing and hearing.

And they keep doing that even when their entire profession — and even their existence — is being demonized and defamed. Because heroes keep showing up, even when the powers that be try to spin them into the bad guys. And when actual bad guys violently attack them, heroes keep doing what they do.

Real journalism is a real thing. It's not dead. It's not hopelessly corrupt. The vast majority of mainstream news outlets are made up of people who have chosen to dedicate their lives to seeking out truth and sharing it — even risking their own lives to do so.

Lynne Griffen, a journalism student of one of the people killed in the shooting, John McNamara, mourns near the newspaper's office. Photo via Mark Wilson/Getty Images.

The Capital Gazette publishing the day after a mass shooting in their own newsroom is just one example of journalists' heroic fortitude.

Any time we hear a Pulitzer-Prize-winning news outlet being smeared as peddling "fake news," we should picture the faces of the journalists who have died in the line of duty. The reporters, photographers, and camera operators who go to war zones to inform us of what's happening in the world, putting their own lives on the line in the process. The journalists who speak truth to power, who endure personal attacks and death threats as an unwritten part of their job description, who show up over and over no matter what because without them we would live in darkness.

A free press is enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution for a reason. Without real journalists seeking out and sharing truth, we are too easily led by propaganda, and power is too easily abused. Imagine a country where the government controls the press, where only stories the president likes are reported, where those in power choose what information the people have access to. Delegitimizing the majority of long-standing, well-reputed news outlets is a first big step toward that reality, and no free citizen should stand for it.

At the same time, journalists are human — and that humanity makes them good at their job.

Checking personal biases doesn't mean leaving humanity at the door. Despite the goal of objectively reporting the goings on in our world, people who work in the news are not robots, and we wouldn't want them to be. Sharing true stories and sharing them well requires a balance of staying detached while deeply caring.

The day after the shooting, the Capital Gazette editorial board published a simple, stark message on its opinion page that illustrates that truth.

"Today we are speechless. This page is intentionally left blank today to commemorate victims of Thursday's shooting at our office.
Gerald Fischman
Rob Hiaasen
John McNamara
Rebecca Smith
Wendi Winters
Tomorrow this page will return to its steady purpose of offering our readers informed opinion about the world around them, that they might be better citizens."





Here's to the heroes at the Capital Gazette, and to the thousands of journalists who keep fighting to share truth and inform our democracy.

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via UNSW

This article originally appeared on 07.10.21


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