Seems kind of ironic that I spend almost 4 decades in newspaper business and I work in DC at the Washington Post and I’ve never been to the Newseum. So I go there while I’m on vacation with my daughter and it was the wettest day we have had here in ages.
But it was a wonderful day. Any day with my daughter or son is a great one but seeing the history of journalism both in broadcast and print really made my day. I could spend 2 days soaking all that there is to see so I don’t think I’ll have a problem going back if I can get my other half to join me.
But a few things moved me. The wall of 9/11 front pages and the photos of journalist killed in the line of duty. I don’t use that term loosely. I know it’s reserved for those who put themselves in danger for the pursuit of there beliefs and values as soldiers. But these people are pursuing something also very important. The pursuit of the truth.
Few things are more important than truth. And the truth is in short supply unless your there to see and hear it yourself. These journalist are the eyes and ears of the world. They are backed by news organizations that invest in these peoples truths and integrity.
Which brings me to the floor representing the new technology. It still begs the basic question. Whom is checking whom when it comes to blogs, websites, twitter accounts, Facebook post and on and on? For as we see every day some of the best of us are on display and some of the worst of us are right there side by side. So how is one to know one from the other. I know mistrust in the standard bearers of journalism has always been there also but it’s more accountable.
And finally I must say I was totally inspired and wowed at the Pictures of the Year and Pulitzer Prize Photographs on display. I’ve been shooting a bit after seeing how far I got to go. But I’m shooting instead of being intimidated. As all good works of art should do. Inspire others.
I did something I can’t remember doing at any other museum. I brought a trinket at the museum store. Actually it was a bumper sticker. It was a play on words with a movie I also like called Apocalypse Now where Robert Duvall stands on the beach and says “I love the smell of napalm in the morning.” Well the bumper sticker says “I love the smell of Newsprint in the morning”. I like it, its me. As they say about us old printers, cut us and we bleed ink.
Anyway, I would recommend a visit if you find yourself in DC. Have fun.