The shooting inspired former congressman David Dreier, who chairs the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation and is a former chair of Tribune Publishing, to establish a memorial commemorating the free press and honoring those journalists who have died while doing their job. The Capital is owned by Tribune Publishing and is part of Baltimore Sun Media. The foundation must raise tens of millions of dollars, meet with a half dozen commissions and search for a location, he said. It takes, on average, about seven years to build a memorial. “Now the real work begins,” Dreier said. “The United States of America would not be what it is today, were it not for the absolutely integral role that journalists play,” he said. “I like to say that journalists are both an example of, as well as the keepers, of liberty.” Recognizing journalists and supporting the free press is more important than ever following the closure of the Newseum, Dreier said. The Newseum, which shuttered last year, had a memorial for journalists killed while doing their job, including those from the Capital Gazette. The Johns Hopkins University officially acquired the Newseum building earlier this year and plans to move all of its D.C.-based academic programs into the building.
Dreier said he expects Trump to sign the bill despite an adversarial relationship with the press. The president has praised violence against journalists at his rallies and has called journalists “the enemy of the people.” Trump did condemn the attack on the Capital Gazette’s newsroom. Once the bill is presented to the president, he has 10 days, excluding Sundays, to sign or veto it. If the president declines to take action on the bill, it becomes law without his signature. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.