WJMC: Day 2 (visiting the Newseum)

The main part of today was going to the Newseum which is basically the Disney World of news and journalism. With about 27 hours of video, 7 floors of exhibits and interactive studios, and much more, I am convinced that I could spend at least 4 full days there and maybe fully experience everything there. It is absolutely amazing to see all the various displays they have there and I can only imagine all the work that went into putting this whole “Newseum” together.

Although I felt much better than yesterday, I was still a bit dazed and I can’t remember every single exhibit I saw, but I can tell you that a few exhibits there had a HUGE impact on me. Of course there was the interactive, fun, and historical things, but what really stood out to me were exhibits like the 9/11, Katrina, and Pulitzer Photo Gallery. In these exhibits there were photos and videos depicting the horrors and striking reality of tragedies all over the world.

a piece from the top of the North Tower (of the Twin Towers)... all the newspapers on the wall behind it are front pages from various publications around the world with headlines concerning 9/11

The one thing that I never forget from this visit is the respect and gratitude I have for journalists and photo journalists. Just seeing some of those pictures of people in the midst of tragedy and loss affected me because, as obvious as this may seem, it occurred to me that this is real. It’s not make-up and the people aren’t actors, this is real life and real lives. It definitely made me realize how brave and heroic journalists are and I hope to one day join those amazing people and report from the front lines of disaster and tragedy (I’m not going to lie, it does scare me A LOT, but the excitement and challenge appeal to me so much). That pretty much summarizes what I experienced at the Newseum, and if you’re ever in the DC area, I highly recommend you stop there, but give yourself a lot of time to spare because you’re going to need it!

After getting back on campus, (and getting a very needed 1 hour nap on the bus ride) we came back and went to two various sessions. I got to hear from Dr. Jack Censer, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at George Mason) and Donna Leinwand (national crime/disaster reporter for USA Today). They were both very interesting and informative. Censer talked about the stages of publication and how it evolved over time due to factors such as cost, T.V., and the Industrial Age. Leinwand is actually in the exact career that I wish to be in. She travels and writes articles on “disasters and mayhem” all across the world. She really opened up about her career and all the things she has experienced. It’s amazing to hear all that she has seen and been through (including being shot at and seeing horrible injuries and casualties in person). Both sessions were really inspiring and cleared a lot up for me in regards to pursuing this career path.

Other than my email NOT working and refusing to send messages, this has been a great day and I can’t wait to visit the monuments at night and meet Hoda Kotb tomorrow.

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