In June, I attended the Al Neuharth Free Spirit & Journalism Conference at the Newseum in Washington D.C. after being selected to represent Arizona at this all-expenses-paid media conference.
With fifty other top student journalists from every state in America, I spent a week in the nation’s capital touring newsrooms, meeting prominent media professionals, and discussing first amendment issues.
On Sunday, June 21, I met NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd and watched a live taping of Meet the Press, the longest-running television program in history.
Later on, PBS NewsHour co-anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff spoke about their unique perspective on the industry as a non-profit journalistic operation.
We also toured the USA TODAY headquarters in McLean, Virginia as the company was splitting itself into two separate entities.
Senate Radio & Television Correspondents Gallery Director Mike Mastrian led us through a tour of the Senate, including a visit to the press center and the Senate floor.
Doug Mills, the long-time New York Times photojournalist, presented his most iconic photos of presidents from Reagan to Obama and spoke about his career.
We also met editors and reporters from The Washington Post, POLITICO, NPR, and CNN. All of these media professionals took questions and we certainly enjoyed the unusual opportunity to connect with so many prominent professionals all in the same place.
We spent hours exploring D.C., cruising the Potomac, and discussing politics, the industry, and our diverse backgrounds. Sessions covered the state of the media business, political reporting, and much more.
The program was established by the late Al Neuharth, who founded USA TODAY and endowed the Newseum program. In addition to the fascinating program, I made great friends and the food were excellent. I’m very grateful for this great opportunity.
Photos courtesy of the Newseum Institute.
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