Citation of Courage

This award is presented in recognition of distinguished service to journalism and extraordinary courage.


Jamal Khashoggi
Photo Credit: April Brady, POMED

Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post

Khashoggi was a Saudi Arabian author and columnist for The Washington Post who was living under self-imposed exile in suburban Washington, D.C. He was assassinated at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey where he was attempting to obtain paperwork necessary to marry his fiancée, a Turkish national. Initially, the Saudi Arabian government denied the death, but the CIA concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered Khashoggi’s assassination. In December 2018, Khashoggi was posthumously named Time Magazine’s person of the year for his work in journalism along with other journalists who faced political persecution for their work.

Accepted by Karen Attiah, Editor, Global Opinions

Capital Gazette

The journalists of The Capital Gazette

Rob Hiaasen was an assistant editor at Capital Gazette, a story teller and writing mentor for a decade’s worth of reporters and a friend. He was one of the newspaper’s best-read columnists. His quirky takes on life were a regular feature of the Sunday Lifestyle section. He is the author of “Float Plan,” a posthumously published novel centered in Annapolis.

Gerald Fischman was the editorial page editor of Capital Gazette for 26 years, managing what for many readers is the heart of the news organization. He was on most days the voice of the newspaper, writing thousands of “Our Say” editorial pieces.

Wendi Winters was a community institution, working as a freelance writer, community columnist, staff writer and editor over 15 years. She interviewed hundreds of teenagers for one popular weekly feature and visited hundreds of homes for another. An active member of the community, witnesses have reported she charged the man who attacked the office. The Maryland congressional delegation has asked President Donald Trump to award her the Medal of Freedom.

John McNamara was a longtime sports writer for Capital Gazette who covered University of Maryland basketball. When the company eliminated the beat, John easily merged into a role as a reporter covering Bowie, Maryland. He is the author of two books on Maryland athletics, including “University of Maryland Football Vault.”

Rebecca Smith was an administrative assistant for the Sales Department, working with sales representatives to serve advertising clients. She also played an important role as an events coordinator for Capital Gazette. Although new to the company, she was well known for her positive outlook on life and her planned marriage and new role as a stepmother.

Rick Hutzell

Accepted by Rick Hutzell, editor 

Rick Hutzell is the editor of Capital Gazette Communications in Annapolis, MD, part of Baltimore Sun Media Group and Tribune Publishing. He oversees the editorial staff of The Capital, the Maryland Gazette, the Crofton West County Gazette and the Bowie Blade-News.

The newspapers and their digital site,, are the primary source of news and information for residents of Anne Arundel County. The Capital is the daily newspaper of Annapolis and central and southern Anne Arundel County, while the Maryland Gazette – one of the oldest newspapers in America – is a twice-weekly serving communities in the north and west.

A lifelong Maryland resident, Rick graduated from the University of Virginia at Wise in 1980 and earned a master’s degree in communication sciences from the University of Tennessee in 1983. He started his newspaper career at his hometown newspaper in Ocean City.

Rick joined The Capital in 1987 as an assistant city editor, and later became business editor. In 2006, he was named editor of the Maryland Gazette, and joined the company’s editorial board in 2013. The following year he was named assistant editor of Capital Gazette Communications, overseeing the weekly papers and government reporting. He was promoted to editor in May 2015. His columns on local politics and life have won awards from the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association.

He was the president of the 2008 class of Leadership Anne Arundel and served on the boards of the Chesapeake Arts Center, the Northern Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce and the West County Chamber of Commerce.

Rick is married to Chara Hutzell, a sales manager at a local hotel. They live in Annapolis and have two children, Evan and Lily.

Citation of Courage 2019

Updated on 2020-01-03T17:55:05+00:00, by firstawards.