It’s the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and here I am reflecting on the past two months. Yes, it HAS been that long. While I committed to writing this column regularly, life does at times get in the way of my best intentions.
I made a trip to Washington, D.C., in early October and in addition to touring all the traditional memorials, plus the White House and Arlington Cemetery and many of the Smithsonian offerings, I had an opportunity visit the Newseum. Many people haven’t heard of it, but it’s basically a museum for all things journalism-related. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in how the media has evolved throughout history, and how it impacts our lives.
Highlights for me included the collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photos over the years — many of which I had never seen — and a map outlining the state of world press freedom, based on a variety of factors, including how many journalists have been killed in various parts of the world while doing their job. We really don’t appreciate how lucky we are to have a relatively free press in the U.S., especially when compared to the rest of the world. Much of the Newseum is interactive — you can even be filmed on YouTube doing a “live” news report — so it’s great for kids too.
There was also a display on how journalism is being transformed through digital media, which was of particular interest to me. The title in fact was the “Digital News Revolution.” Wikipedia defines revolution as “a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.” Think about how many print newspapers have gone out of business in recent years, and how many of us now get our news almost exclusively online.
A revolution is about right.
Compared to the rest of the Newseum, that display was very small — but of course that part of journalism history is just being written. And I’m proud to be part of it.
Speaking of which, a few updates:
- We continue to receive regular voluntary subscriptions and donations from our readers. I have said this before, but my heartfelt thanks to all of you who give us money. It really does help us meet our monthly operating expenses.
- That said, the number of subscribers represents a tiny fraction of the average number of daily visitors to our website. If you have thought about donating, but keep forgetting, why not do so now, at this link? You can pay by credit card, by PayPal or by check — one time or monthly. Any amount and/or frequency is MUCH appreciated. We are all used to getting our news for free, but there are real costs associated with what we do. Our work is not sustainable long term, unless you help.
- My sincere appreciation too to both our long-time and new advertisers, who provide the backbone of our financial support. Without them, we CANNOT exist, so please support them, especially as you do your holiday shopping.
As always, I am thankful for your supportive public comments as well as your suggestions for improvement, your personal words of encouragement and your ongoing financial support.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Teresa Wippel, Publisher