Hilltop on the Hill 2013

Eight students are in Washington, D.C., in October 2013 as part of SMU’s Hilltop on the Hill program. The students will visit media and government sites, and meet with political communicators, journalists and SMU alumni. The trip is led by Rita Kirk, professor of communication studies in Meadows School of the Arts and director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility; Sandra Duhé, chair of communication studies, associate professor and director of the Meadows School’s public relations program; and Candy Crespo, assistant director of the Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility. Endowed by the Bauer Foundation, the Hilltop on the Hill program also takes students studying political communication to political party conventions, the presidential Inauguration and the G8 Economic Summit.

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Fighting with words

An update from Elena, a senior majoring in corporate communications in Meadows School of the Arts and business in the Cox School of Business:

As society evolves, intrinsically some things never change – like the news. Since the adoption and enforcement of the First Amendment, news headlines have changed very little. The art of attention grabbing is an age-old tradition; readers in the pre-Revolutionary era craved an interesting story, just like readers today.

One difference that really shines at the Newseum is the name of major news sources in the pre-Revolutionary era. “The Crisis” published articles headlined “A Bloody Court, A Bloody Military, and A Bloody Parliament.” These media used linguistics to highlight the turmoil the United States faced and fought the power with words.

My favorite part of the Newseum was seeing the Berlin Wall. It was so powerful seeing a piece of history that literally separated a free society from the oppressed. Similar to the American Revolution, Germans demanded the destruction of the wall and did not successfully prevent the dissemination of free speech. One can take a lesson from history and fight for what is important.

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