More than two decades after KDKA cameraman Edward Romano was killed on assignment, he will be added to The Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial. One of Pittsburgh's senior photographers, Romano was struck and killed Sept. 6, 1979, by a gasoline tank truck while videotaping strike activities in Lawrenceville.
A truck leaving the strikebound Arco terminal hit and ran over Romano, 61. He was head of KDKA's team of 10 cameramen and had worked at the station since 1961, when he was hired by Bill Burns. A former photographer for the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph, Romano had earned a Purple Heart during World War II service as a paratrooper. He was survived by his wife and a daughter.
The names of 332 journalists who died covering the news since 1812, including 40 killed in 1999, will be added today to the glass-paneled monument in Freedom Park in Arlington, Va. It now pays tribute to 1,369 reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters killed as a result of covering the news.
"In an age of information overload, it is easy to forget that there are people still willing to die for journalism," says Peter Prichard, president of The Freedom Forum and Newseum. "The memorial reminds us what sacrifices journalists are willing to make for a free press."
Some were killed reporting on wars, natural disasters or violent crimes, while others were injured or fell ill while on assignment, and still others were murdered to silence their reporting. Thomas Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of CNN News, will speak at 11 this morning in Freedom Park, after readings by journalists of names on the memorial.