Journalists who covered newsroom shooting take Tribune buyout

Two journalists with the Capital Gazette newspaper who covered a shooting spree that occurred within the same newsroom nearly two years ago have accepted buyout offers.

Joshua McKerrow is one of several journalists to accept an offer from Tribune Publishing to trade employment for severance. While buyouts aren’t uncommon in the news industry — especially print — the move is particularly difficult for McKerrow because he spent a significant portion of his career shooting photographs for the newspaper and covering one of the organization’s most-heartbreaking moments.

After a gunman killed five Capital Gazette colleagues in 2018, McKerrow and several other journalists covered the story from a truck in a nearby parking garage. One of those journalists, reporter Pat Furgurson, also accepted a buyout, the trade publication Poynter reported on Thursday.

McKerrow and his colleagues at the newspaper won a special citation from the Pulitzer Prize committee last year “for demonstrating unflagging commitment to covering the news and serving their community at a time of unspeakable grief.”

McKerrow told Poynter he accepted the buyout this week because it was in the best interest of his family. He started at the Capital Gazette in 2004.

Tribune started offering buyouts to journalists after hedge fund Alden Global Capital acquired a 32 percent stake in the company last November.