The School of Media and Public Affairs has always encouraged its students to take advantage of the resources Washington, D.C. offers, and now, our many partnerships with the Newseum make that easier than ever. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue near GW, it is a museum that "blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits" according to its website.
SMPA has collaborated with the Newseum in at least five different ways this school year, from co-hosting events and classes to producing TV and radio segments at their state-of-the-art television studios.
Director of the Global Media Institute Professor Michael Freedman chose to take his Media History (SMPA 177) class out of the classroom and move it on site at the Newseum each week.
“The Newseum brings to life virtually every element of media history through its artifact-filled exhibits, wonderfully produced films, and the expertise of its instructors and curators,” Freedman said.
“As a result of what the Newseum has to offer, we've integrated exhibits and/or films into each class session. Some of our most compelling classes covered the Civil Rights movement, comparing and contrasting coverage of World War II with Afghanistan, and media moguls,” Freedman said.
The Newseum also offers internships, several of which have been filled by SMPA students. Vice President for Broadcasting at the museum Paul Sparrow said interns receive a very practical, hands-on experience.
“We really engage the students. We put ‘em to work,” Sparrow said.
Fall 2009 intern Simon Hernandez said his experience was rewarding. “It was a lot fun and I got to meet some serious heavyweight journalists,” he said.
“Interns get to escort guests in and out of the building, so I had the chance to talk with Bob Woodward for a few minutes. I'd say that beats your average internship making copies,” Hernandez said.
SMPA Director Frank Sesno hosted the 10-part series “The Future of News,” produced by and filmed at the Newseum. Free tickets were available to all SMPA students. The series, which aired on PBS stations nationwide, examined how traditional and new media influence the free press and had guests that ranged from Bob Woodward to Steve Grove of YouTube.
SMPA’s Global Media Institute is also in the process of producing a 40-program series for radio in partnership with the Newseum called "This Just In!" The shows air nationally on Sirius-XM Satellite Radio and locally on Federal News Radio here in Washington.
Most recently, SMPA hosted “Transforming Journalism: The State of The News Media 2010” in association with The Newseum and Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. The half-day event included a keynote speech from NPR president Vivian Schiller and a panel of guests who reflected on the annual State of the News Media report from Pew.
“We hope to continue to develop a relationship with GW,” Sparrow concluded.