An update from CJ, a CCPA major:

DC2.jpg During my time in Washington, D.C., for Hilltop on the Hill, I was exposed to so many wonderful connections and educational opportunities. One of the most influential experiences was visiting the Newseum.

(In photo, right: CCPA Assistant Professor Dan Schill with students at the Supreme Court.)

When walking past the front page of newspapers from every state in the United States and into the building, I was overwhelmed by the vast size of the facility. When I looked up, I saw six stories filled with exhibits, and hanging from the middle of the roof was a full-size news helicopter that appeared no larger than a toy.

As I began wandering through the Newseum, I was blown away by all the fascinating things to do and see. The most powerful exhibit was the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs gallery that displayed all of the winning pictures from history – some happy, some sad, but all of them moving. While I moved from picture to picture, it was hard to not get all choked up. I had the same problem at the September 11 exhibit, which even had the antenna from the top of one of the Twin Towers.

There were other memorial-type displays, such as Tim Russert’s complete office, untouched from the day he died and a tribute to all of the fallen journalists from around the world.

hilltop%20at%20NPR.jpg Other parts of the Newseum were more fun – like the free speech, Sports Illustrated photography and Elvis exhibits. A beautiful terrace on top of the building boasts one of the best views of Capitol Hill throughout the entire city.

The Newseum made me realize the importance of news in society. We would know so much less about our world and previous generations without news. It is the embodiment of our history and shows us where we come from.

It also made me realize how lucky we are to live in the United States and to have free press, unlike so many countries around the world.

(In photo: Hilltop on the Hill participants gather in National Public Radio’s Studio 4A, which will house 80 people reporting the midterm elections on election night.)