Local journalists who’ve been working remotely for months because of the coronavirus pandemic will stay that way for awhile, and some will lose their newsrooms entirely.
In a memo obtained by Poynter on Wednesday, Baltimore Sun publisher and editor-in-chief Trif Alatzas told employees “we do not anticipate returning to our Sun Park offices until some point in 2021 at the earliest” and that newsrooms in Annapolis, home of the Capital Gazette, and Westminster, home of the Carroll County Times, would permanently close.
“Staff of those offices will have workspace available to them at Sun Park once it fully reopens. We remain committed to our in-depth community coverage, and we will work with managers and staff to ensure that we are providing readers with the news and information they expect from our publications.” He continued: “These decisions were not made lightly or hastily. Amid a pandemic that prevents us from safely returning to our offices for an undetermined period of time, the company has decided to formally close those workspaces.”
The staff of the Capital Gazette left its previous newsroom after a gunman killed five colleagues in 2018. Following today’s news, Joshua McKerrow, a photojournalist who covered the shooting and later took a buyout, tweeted that in the Capital Gazette’s current newsroom “the walls of the office at The Capital are covered with memorials to the staff murdered in 2018. Letters from around the world. Handmade tributes. Drawn portraits of Rebecca, Wendi, Gerald, Rob, and John. A Pulitzer Special Citation. So much more.”