News organizations and journalists across the country are showing their support for the staff of the Orlando Sentinel as the paper works to provide coverage of this week's mass shooting at a gay club in the city. Poynter reported the Southern California News Group and others are sending food to the Orlando newsroom, supporting reporters and editors who are working around the clock.
One contributor, Erin Ailworth, is an alumna of the Sentinel, and she rallied a group of other former employees to provide dinner for the paper. They also opened up a tab at a nearby bar for off-duty reporters to eat, drink, and recharge. According to Poynter, the Los Angeles Times and Tampa Bay Times also planned to send food, and the editor of the Oregonian tweeted a promise to send food as well.
In addition to the tragic events at Pulse nightclub, Sentinel reporters are working long hours to cover two other local stories: the recent murder of The Voice contestant Christina Grimmie and a 2-year-old child who was dragged away by an alligator at a Disney resort.
This practice of newsrooms stepping up for one another is not uncommon: In 2015, the Boston Globe sent food to the Baltimore Sun newsroom during coverage of and aftermath of Freddie Gray's death, and in April 2013, the Globe was on the receiving end when the Chicago Tribune sent pizza to the paper during its coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings. The Sun sent food to Charleston's Post and Courier as it covered last June's church shooting that left nine people dead.
The outpouring of support for Orlando goes well beyond newsrooms, too. One local Chick-fil-A decided to buck the chain's tradition of being closed on Sundays to open and provide food to people waiting in line to donate blood.