The Cardinal staff of 1987-’88 included Anthony Shadid as well as many who would reconnect through the Shadid Brigade, Daily Cardinal Division.

photo courtesy peter barreras

Every member of The Daily Cardinal, past or present, felt the loss of former reporter and campus editor Anthony Shadid, but few more so than one small office “brigade” from the late 1980s.

Group members who still know the international Pulitzer winner as Anthony “Sha-did,” “Tony Buddy” and “Sha-did the Machine” first came together last spring when Shadid was captured by government forces in Libya.

Former Cardinal photographer Peter Barreras posted on Facebook, “I propose the next time Anthony gets in trouble we form a special brigade, ‘Badger Force Wisconsin.’”

Former city editor W.P. Norton took the suggestion, forming a Facebook group where a few dozen former colleagues soon coalesced. The private group cycled through several names but ultimately settled on “Shadid Brigade, Daily Cardinal Division,” a name Norton assures “will never change.”

In the wake of his passing, the page transformed into “a place of public grieving,” according to Shadid’s first Cardinal editor, Mark Pitsch.

“It became really important to me after his death,” he said. “It was a way for us to grieve together and to try to reconnect.”

Despite the tragedy that brought the group together, former Cardinal reporter Sarah Kershaw identified the former staffers’ reconnection as one of the few positives to emerge from the death of their friend.

“We’re sharing stories, connecting with each other’s lives,” she explained. “It’s heartbreaking, but I’m amazed by all the support and really reconnecting with Daily Cardinal friends and, really, so much pride about The Daily Cardinal.”