Visit to Newseum inspires student journalists

 

The Sidekick editors visited the Newseum on Nov. 14 and 15.
The Sidekick editors visited the Newseum on Nov. 14 and 15.

It’s a museum. About news. Thus, the Newseum. And as nerdy as it sounds, the collective consensus when The Sidekick editors visited this past weekend for the JEA/NSPA Fall 2009 journalism convention in Washington, D.C. was that it truly was “an experience like no other”.

One of the standouts was the Pulitzer photo gallery. Every single Pulitzer prize-winning photograph from every single year was on display, and the effect was staggering. Literally every other photo either moved me to tears or had my mouth dropping open or caused me to gasp out loud — or all three. One of the photos that hit me hardest was the 1964 photo entitled “Waiting Game for Sudanese Child” by South African photojournalist Kevin Carter. The photo description talked about how he was covering the famine in Sudan when he heard “a tiny whimpering” coming from this little girl, who was trying to get herself to the feeding center. “A vulture landed nearby. Carter waited. The vulture waited. Carter took his picture and chased the bird away. He sat under a tree and cried.” Journalists were told not to touch famine victims because of the disease, but years later Carter still told his friends that he was sorry he didn’t pick up the child, and a year later, he committed suicide at 33 years old.

This photo, "Waiting Game for Sudanese Child", won the Putlizer in 1964.
This photo, "Waiting Game for Sudanese Child", won the Putlizer in 1964.

It still gives me chills thinking about it. And it makes me want to be a journalist, a feeling renewed.

We only got to spend about an hour and a half exploring everything else the Newseum had to offer on Saturday — an amazing 9/11 tribute exhibit, an entire room of ancient newspapers on pull-out drawers, a plethora of interactive games. So when we realized that our discounted tickets were good for two days, one of us tentatively asked outside after closing time, “Do any of you guys go want to… you know… go back?”, we all raised our hands relievedly and nerdily. And we went back Sunday. It was glorious.