Rocking the First Amendment at the Newseum

By Dean’s Intern Maddi Pariser at the Newseum


It’s a beautiful day to spend some time out on the Newseum’s terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue.

Exercise, defend and promote freedom. Uphold free expression by championing the five freedoms of the First Amendment: religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

During my final semester at AU, I have had the privilege of working as the exhibit development intern at the Newseum. I am guided by a highly-motivated team of writers, editors and researchers who are responsible for creating the scripts and written content that make up almost all of the museum’s exhibits.

As you might expect, dedication to the core mission, partnered with a collaborative work environment, is constantly inspiring free-flowing conversation. Employees explore the challenges confronting modern day freedom by engaging in dialogue.

Throughout my internship, I have regularly participated in meetings covering subjects such as religious freedom, the civil rights movement, and journalism ethics.

While essential to the institution, the work being done at the Newseum extends far beyond the perseverance of the First Amendment. There are countless opportunities to indulge in creative thinking.

Currently, I am assisting in the creation of an exhibit entitled “Louder Than Words: Rock, Power and Politics.” Here, I get to explore the role rock music has played in politics and social movements around the world. The Newseum has partnered with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio to create a one-of-a-kind experience that examines the abilities of rock to change attitudes about patriotism, peace, equality and freedom.

Around the office, journalists are conversing with historians, while exhibit designers discuss art and graphics with professional illustrators.

At the Newseum, innovation meets activism and the result is education. I am excited and proud to be a part of an institution that highly values our First Amendment freedoms, and I am looking forward to finding out what the rest of the semester has in store.