Students see Newseum

The Newseum includes the largest display of the Berlin Wall of any museum. Each of the eight graffitied slabs are 12 feet high and weigh almost three tons. The guard tower, known as Checkpoint Charlie, is also on display. The tower is a symbol of the defeat of tyranny.
The Newseum includes the largest display of the Berlin Wall of any museum. Each of the eight graffitied slabs are 12 feet high and weigh almost three tons. The guard tower, known as Checkpoint Charlie, is also on display. The tower is a symbol of the defeat of tyranny.

Journalism, photojournalism, and Voices and Visions staff attended a field trip to the Newseum in Washington, D.C, on Nov. 20. More than 45 students participated, and the trip was chaperoned by English teachers Nicole Schiffhauer, Lindell Palmer, and Marie Miller.

Palmer is a personal fan of the Newseum and hopes his student’s gain as much from the experience as he does.

“It’s the best of all worlds,” Palmer said. “Each time I go I find new things to see. It’s such a massive place you can never see it all at once. Every time I go I tend to see some of the same things over again, just to reconsider them. It’s a museum that documents history and at the same time how media has changed throughout the years. You not only learn about media and journalism, but you also learn about history.”

Schiffhauer shares Palmer’s admiration and is confident her students learn a lot from the experience.

“Students are exposed to all areas of journalism at the Newseum,” Shiffhauer said. “For photojournalism students, the hall of photographs really puts into perspective the realness of the job; the monument to those who have lost their lives in the field reinforces the gravity of their work, and seeing the history of journalism evolve into modern-day journalism affords students the opportunity to appreciate how far we’ve come in the field. In my opinion, any student aspiring to go into some sort of communications field should visit the Newseum.”

Junior Jackie Nungesser felt the trip was worthwhile.

“It was cool to be able to go there and learn new things,” Nungesser said. “My favorite exhibit was probably the Pulitzer Prize winning pictures. They were so intense. I got really emotional looking at them.”

Junior Kerian McDonald found a newfound respect for journalists in the 9/11 documentary, produced and screened by the Newseum.

“The 9/11 movie with the reporters talking about their first hand experience was pretty crazy,” McDonald said. “It was really moving to see how they risked their lives like that.”

Both Palmer and Schiffhauer received glowing feedback from their students, and feel the trip was a day well spent.

“Students love the Newseum,” Schiffhauer said. “They get to see and experience things there that wouldn’t be possible elsewhere. Most of my students end up taking their friends and family back to the Newseum. In my experience, students walk away from their time at the Newseum enlightened; they find that they have a new-found respect for the happenings of the world and how the media covers it. In some cases, they come away with the drive to make their dreams of being a photojournalist a true reality.”

~Patrick Duggan, news director

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Fauquier High School's student newspaper. By the students, for the students.