Saturday, April 11, 2009

A good day for this journalist!

I did the tourist thing today and took a trip to Washington, DC. I've been wanting to see the Newseum. Today was its first birthday, and the founders were hosting a par-tay!

I went to school to be a journalist. Worked in the newspaper industry for almost 20 years. And now I teach journalism, and man, I felt at home. ~happy sigh~ I really love my trade industry. The media often takes a lot of grief, but without it, we'd be one ignorant and ill-informed society. As former Washington Post publisher Phillip Graham said, "Journalism is the first rough draft of history."

The Newseum houses amazing exhibits. Each day someone changes every newspaper in the "Front Page Gallery." There's a memorial to the fallen journalists who have died in action. A tribute to 9/11. An interactive newsroom where I filmed a news video. Hundreds of original newspapers featuring hundreds of our most important events in history. There are a dozen theaters that feature news events from the last century. Several sections of the Berlin live at the Newseum, along with a guard station from Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie. There are exhibits about the First Amendment, world press freedom, the FBI, Lincoln's assassination, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, and much more. I could have spent days there! DAYS!

This is a portion of the "News History Gallery"...

Journalists caught up in the violence at the "Time Warner World News Gallery"...
First freedoms at the "Cox Enterprises First Amendment Gallery"...
Sections of the Berlin wall, torn down in 1989, in the "Berlin Wall Gallery"...
In these hard economic times, it makes me sad to see newspapers failing due to steep declines in advertising revenue. It feels like pieces of history are dying. Thank goodness for the Newseum and its ability to preserve and present the news. And for the First Amendment for its ability to protect the news. I can't wait to visit DC again to see everything I missed!

--Mom

P.S. If it weren't for media technology and the migration to do-it-yourself journalism, our beloved blogs wouldn't be possible! ~hugs the laptop~

3 comments:

The Diva on a Diet said...

Oh how cool! I've never heard of the Newseum and now I want to visit! I share your distress at the seemingly inevitable death of the print media - and I'm worried for my friends who work at the NY Times. I don't know what we'd do without our daily paper. And, much as I love the internet, reading the Times online just isn't the same. Thanks so much for the virtual tour and the words of wisdom. What a great post! :)

Maureen said...

Makes you wonder what future generations will think of reading news in print rather than digitally.

Yes, there is something to be said for holding something in print, be it a book or a newspaper.

My favorite part of the paper is the Saturday colored comics (yes, Saturday in Canada). Sad, no? ;)

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