SPJ St. Louis commends journalists reporting on Ferguson

Glass. Gas. Bricks. Rocks. Flames. Freezing temperatures. Fear.

Rage.

These are among the many obstacles St. Louis-area journalists struggled against Monday to report on grand jury findings in the Michael Brown shooting and subsequent civic outrage.

The journalists rushed into a dangerous zone between protestors and police to chronicle the turmoil and humanity of the night. They put their lives at risk to show what risks others were also taking to provoke or protect the Ferguson community. These journalists did this because it was central to their jobs.

None were arrested, thankfully. None were seriously injured, fortunately.

None expect the deeper tensions stirred by Brown’s shooting to ease from the passions released on one frenzied night.

That is why they will return every day, as they have since the shooting, to the scenes of violence, to the vigils for peace. They will help the St. Louis community find answers. They will serve as guides for other journalists outside the region. And they will continue to engage the community in the larger quest for truth and understanding.

The St. Louis Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists takes this opportunity to commend those who worked through Monday night and into Tuesday morning to advance awareness and understanding of the tragic circumstances unfolding in and around Ferguson. The list includes:

Professional journalists are community servants. Their ultimate goal is the strength and preservation of the republic. With their help, the citizens of the St. Louis region will see past their fear to the hope we all have for a better society. We owe them our thanks and our support for that.

David Sheets
President,
St. Louis Pro Chapter

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