We had our second field trip this weekend, fittingly enough to the Newseum. I could spend hours in the place, even having been before. I understand why some would view it as kind of extraneous, but I think some parts are very well done. I love the old papers, for one. I was thrilled the first time I went and saw that they have an 1860 edition of the Charleston Mercury. While I was freelancing for them in Charleston I met a lot of people who had never heard of it so for it to be in the Newseum is pretty crazy.
I also loved the 9/11 video. I had not thought of the reporters’ perspective covering that story before. I enjoyed hearing it from them. I thought a comment by Thomas Franklin summed up what it takes to be a journalist pretty concisely. Franklin, who took the photo of the fireman raising the American flag hours after the towers came down, said that when he and the rest of his crew tried to dock and get into the city, a policeman refused to let them off. Franklin said he took it into consideration that the police weren’t letting anyone into the city, especially so close to ground zero, but found another way and got in. It was funny to me that he put it in such terms. Journalists do generally take it into consideration that they could be entering dangerous places, but they usually do it anyway.
The First Amendment exhibit is another of my favorites. To have LL Cool J talk about freedom of speech with a soundtrack of Neil Young and Don Henley is pretty awesome.