Ron Burgundy and I are friends now. We spent all day Friday reporting and posing with epic stances in front of the Capitol. Well, not really. I posed with a poster of him at the “Anchorman” exhibit and I did a fake standup at the NBC News Interactive Newsroom. Nonetheless, it was an amazing day.
I was able to pay a visit to the Newseum this weekend and it was everything I wanted and more. The Newseum was filled with historic events in journalism that inspired me and at times made me emotional – I did not cry, though.
My favorite exhibits turned out to be the Pulitzer Prize Photography Gallery and the 9/11 Gallery. I never thought that I would go into the museum and feel depressed. Usually I feel smarter and more cultured when I visit a museum.
The photography exhibit was filled with powerful images of people being victims of hate crimes, natural disasters, or even war. Occasionally there was heartwarming photography of acts of kindness.
The most powerful photograph I saw was taken in Sudan by photographer Kevin Carter. The photograph he sold to the New York Times was of a starving child lying on the floor while a hooded vulture stood a few feet away ready to take its prey.
The photograph is filled with symbols of death. We have the vulture, starvation, and it even foreshadowed the photographer’s fate.
Carter committed suicide a year later after receiving a lot of criticism over not saving the child – even though he was instructed not to do so because of disease – and then winning the Pulitzer. This makes me think of when the lines are blurred between acting like a journalist and having to act like a compassionate human being. It also makes me wonder if I will ever be faced with a critical moment in which I have to let go of objectivity.
The 9/11 gallery also made me ponder the question of objectivity and safety.
This exhibit was more focused on the stories of reporters that were on the scene. Most faced a moment where they had to decide whether to chase after the story or run for their own safety. Another question I asked myself was what are my limits? I really don’t know how far I would go for a story until I’m there.
Not all exhibits were as touching. Some others were fun and humorous.
My “love is in the air” standup was horrible. I mean, it was fun to do, but it was horrible. I would never get hired if that was on my reel. I mispronounced things and danced at the end of the clip, but it was meant to be fun and silly.
I will definitely be going back to the Newseum. It was a great place to be inspired and motivated to become a great journalist.