Thursday, April 8, 2010

WOW! This is Jim reporting from the Newseum

So, as I was saying, yesterday, not really yesterday but last Friday, we arrived in Washington via South Capitol Street SE, stopping just a few blocks from the Capitol. The drive into the DC is always impressive with monuments all around. The streets and sidewalks were crowed for Cherry Blossom viewing.

It was a visit—actually two days worth—to the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue that may have been the most impressive part of the trip. It’s an interactive walk through five centuries of news history. There are 14 major galleries and 15 theatres offering you a history lesson through the words, pictures and videos of news gathers since as far back as the effort started.

With seven levels of stuff, it’s not worth rushing through. If you have any interest in media as well as history, taking the time to look, read, listen and take part is a must. We spent a couple of hours there Saturday and then as many Sunday.

In two places, on the outside along the entrance wall and again along the outside along a terrace wall of one of the upper floors, there’s a display of newspaper front pages with each of the 50 United States represented for that day. Several International papers were also on display. It was interesting to see how various newspapers played similar stories. Sunday, there was a lot of front page coverage of the NCAA basketball games of Saturday, but that is also a day when local papers give front page placement to longer local pieces.

There are tons of stories being told all over the facility, using print, radio, television and internet. There’s an Elvis display which is as much about the coverage of the rock ‘n roll star as about Elvis himself. There’s a gallery about the fall of the Berlin Wall and a section of the Wall as well. Kennedy’s assassination, the lading on the moon, the history of sports coverage, and so on and so forth. A moving display about the 9/11 aerial attacks on the United States; and a Pulizer Price Photography section.

The Newseum is well worth the $20 admission fee which covers two consecutive days of visitation. ABC News produces “Sunday Morning” at the Newseum. We saw George Will doing a stand-up report/commentary.

And, there’s a place for you to be a television reporter. You stand in front of a plain background onto which is superimposed the subject of your choice. I chose to be a White House reporter. I read from a teleprompter, once through the short narrative and then, second time through, it was recorded. The result was a photo of me standing in front of the White House and a video which I downloaded from and then uploaded to YouTube for your viewing pleasure. Here’s the link. I was a little less than serious in my effort. As I’ve told others who have seen it, if you can’t make fun of yourself, who can you make fun of?

On the other hand, if more news reporting was done as I did, maybe news wouldn't include so much doom and gloom. Enjoy the video. And visit the Newseum in Washington DC, especially if you’re a news junkie. I am.
I'm interested to know your opinion of my future as a broadcaster. Click the "comment" link below and let me have it. Thanks.


  1. If I didn't think you had something to say in a way that interests me, I would have stopped reading your blog.
    You and Charles Krauthammer are my two favorites. Now all you have to do is figure out how to make it happen. Good Luck, Jim.

  2. Hey Jem: Thank goodness You-Tube now offers automatic closed captioning. Your drawl was very pronounced. Was that done on purpose? You reminded me of Gomer Pyle! Thanks. It was fun to watch!


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