Making History at the Newseum

By Dean’s Intern Katie O’Gorman at the Newseum

It has been such an incredible experience to work at the Newseum, a museum dedicated to the first amendment and the practice of journalism, during this historical moment in our country’s lifetime where our right to free speech and the legitimacy of the media is constantly being questioned.

One of my main tasks as the production assistant intern is editing the biweekly Lighter Side of News exhibit video that displays in the Internet, TV, and Radio Gallery. Every other week, I sit in my editing suite and watch the most recent late night talk show hosts’ commentary on world events, pop culture, and most importantly the US government. My task is to pick the funniest jokes on the most recent political and national events and create a cohesive 7-8 minute video beginning with the lightest jokes and ending with the political jabs that get the biggest laughs. The most difficult part is keeping the video up to date on the latest news because, with the current state of our government, something new makes history every week. Sometimes I will take a break from work and go sit in the theater where my video is played and laugh along with the visitors. It’s a really awesome feeling to see people appreciate your work!

Another major project that I have been able to be a part of during my semester here has been the final video installment for the Civil Rights at 50 exhibit 1968: Civil Rights at 50. The production team started work on the 1968 video early this September and will complete it in December. The exhibit will open to the public next January, 50 years after the struggle for racial justice in 1968. I have been able to witness the process of creating an exhibit film first-hand from start to finish. I helped with the pre-production stage doing background research and location scouting for interviews, assisted with interview shoots for the production stage, and will shadow the editors during the post-production stage.

Working on a civil rights video while the country is going though a similar situation right now has not only been very educational but also very empowering. We have been able to interview major voices of the current civil rights movement such as Michael Bennett, a player on the Seattle Seahawks who has been a major participant in the racially inspired protests of the NFL. I am also studying race relations and the history of racism in a course here at AU this semester, so it has been very rewarding to work on a project that connects the skills I am learning in my film and media arts major with my studies in my anthropology minor.

I have always wanted to make history, and with my work editing the lighter side of current event news stories and connecting the past civil rights movement with the present in the 1968 exhibit film, my internship at the Newseum has let me live out that dream.