Security Heightened at New York News Media Buildings After Maryland Shooting
The New York Police Department said it was beefing up security at New York-based news organizations on Thursday after a gunman fired through a glass door at a newspaper in the Maryland capital of Annapolis and sprayed the newsroom with bullets.
At least five people were killed and several others were injured, news reports said.
The suspect has been apprehended. Law enforcement in Baltimore and New York City deployed protective forces to major media outlets as a precaution, authorities said.
About two hours after the shooting in Maryland, a small newsroom in Ogden, Utah, received a telephone call from a man asking about the ideological bent of the newspaper.
“There was no specific threat made by this person, but he did go off on the liberal media and fake news and suggested that liberals deserve to have violence done against them,” said Kyle Hansen, news editor of the Ogden Standard-Examiner.
The caller hung up when asked to identify himself. The newspaper reported the call to police. The building entrances were checked and the news staff had a meeting about how to handle such calls, Hansen said.
Authorities in Maryland say they do not yet know the motive of the gunman who sprayed the Gazette with gunfire.
But it has certainly rattled other newsrooms across the United States, which have long cultivated open-door ties with their communities as a business model.
“Obviously it’s always a concern because we write stories that make people angry,” said Staci Matlock, editor of the Taos News weekly newspaper, in Taos, New Mexico.
Reporters Without Borders press freedom advocacy group called the Maryland shooting “a new tragedy for journalism, which is the victim of increasing violence globally–even in democracies.”
According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, 13 journalists have been physically attacked in the United States so far this year, and 45 were physically attacked in 2017.
Armed police officers were seen outside the Reuters building in Times Square and the New York Times building on Thursday.