No more #FakeNews at the Newseum

By Dean’s Intern Melany Rochester at the Newseum

Interning at my favorite museum in Washington D.C. has truly been a dream come true. The Newseum dedicates itself to promoting and informing visitors on the first amendment which is such important work during this day and age. Being able to lend my talents to the Newseum has been some of the most meaningful and rewarding work I have done. Each day brings a new adventure in the world of journalism and free expression.

In April, the Newseum is hosting its annual Free Expression Awards to honor selected champions of free expression. Before the recipients come up to receive their awards, a brief tribute video plays on the atrium screen. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to research the people receiving the awards this year, and find clips of them to put in the video tributes. One of the groups receiving the award this year are the journalists who uncovered the stories of sexual misconduct. I spend my entire Monday researching clips of Amy Brittain, Irin Carmon, Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard, Mark Alesia, Marisa Kwiatkowski, Tim Evans, Ronan Farrow, and so many more. These journalists are heroes, and they inspire me continually uncover the truth throughout my work in documentary storytelling and filmmaking.  Being able to research these journalists and find clips on the work they have done allowed me to learn more about the issue of sexual misconduct and how they uncovered the stories they.

In addition to this work, I spend a lot of my time at the Newseum working on my own exhibit which is a biweekly video exhibit called, “Lighter Side of News” displaying in the Internet, TV, and Radio Gallery. As the Production Assistant intern, I get to create the video from start to finish. Every other week, I watch the most recent late night talk show hosts’ shows on world events, pop culture, and the US government. My task is to pick the funniest jokes on the most recent political and national events and create a timely 7-8 minute video starting with the lightest jokes and ending with political jabs to get the biggest laughs at the end. Once I am done editing the clisp together with transitions and courtesy graphics, I add the captioning and then send it off to the big screen to display in the Newseum! Due to our current state of affairs and chaos in Washington, the most difficult part of creating the video is keeping it as current and up to date as possible.

My most recent project has been brainstorming the Newseum’s 10-year anniversary video with the rest of the video team at the Newseum. We are trying to create a timely piece that will embody the importance of the Newseum 10 year ago to today, and show the work that has been done of those years. Working among a professional team and sharing ideas has been an incredibly rewarding experience and has taught me how to work together in a professional team.

This internship has already been an amazing experience. My passion is storytelling with a focus on revealing necessary truths, and this is exactly the kind of work the Newseum is doing. Being able to work at the very place that inspired me to pursue journalism three years ago has been the job of a lifetime, and I am so glad have gotten this opportunity. I can’t wait to see what comes next!