A fundraiser for the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting in Maryland had already raised more than $128,000 by Friday afternoon on philanthropy-minded GoFundMe.com, and the donations keep pouring in.
“Please give what you can to help the Capital Gazette newsroom and their journalists,” the fundraising page reads. “Our hearts break for our colleagues in Annapolis and we want to do whatever we possibly can to help them pay for medical bills, funeral costs, newsroom repairs, and any other unforeseen expenses that might arise as a result of this terrible shooting.”
“Thank you all so much for your love and support,” the page continues. “Subscribe to a local newspaper.”
The fundraiser was started by Madi Alexander, a Washington, DC-based data journalist for Bloomberg Government. GoFundMe spokesman Bobby Whithorne confirmed the page’s authenticity and told CNN in an email, “we guarantee the funds will only be transferred to help those impacted by the shooting in the Gazette newsroom.”
Alexander told CNNMoney, “This story isn’t about me — it’s about the courageous Capital Gazette family that needs our help.” She told The Baltimore Sun that even though she doesn’t know anyone on the Capital Gazette staff, she still wanted to help.
“It just seemed like something needed to be done, and no one had done it yet,” Alexander told the Sun.
Budgets for local news have decreased dramatically in recent years, and salaries are known to be low.
“[Capital Gazette] reporters & editors give all they have every day. There are no 40 hour weeks, no big paydays – just a passion for telling stories from our community,” tweeted Capital Gazette editor Jimmy DeButts. “We keep doing more with less. We find ways to cover high school sports, breaking news, tax hikes, school budgets & local entertainment.”
Others on social media encouraged donations to Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists, two organizations that work to promote journalists’ safety and work around the world.