Honoring Journalists Who Gave the Ultimate Sacrifice

By Dean’s Intern Ariana Duford at the Newseum

Ariana DufordOn the third floor of the Newseum stands a two-story glass panel. Inscribed are the names of 2,323 journalists that have lost their lives during their pursuit of truth. Every year the Newseum recognizes those reporters lost, usually to unthinkable violence, in the previous year.

As the exhibit development intern, I have written labels for artifacts including the remnants of the USS Maine. I have written the biographies for this year’s Freedom of Expression Award honorees such as Director Ava DuVernay and Me Too creator Tarana Burke. I have even sat in on meetings with designers for the museum’s upcoming exhibits and watched as these stories come to life. But nothing has moved me more in these few short weeks than working to preserve the legacy of this year’s fallen journalists.

In my task to ensure the journalists killed in 2018 are celebrated in the manner they deserve, I have spoken to their friends and representatives as well as read the bodies of work that got many of them killed. Reporters are the first line of defense against tyranny. So, their unwavering commitment to their journalistic obligations, left me in awe and I would not have had this humbling experience without my internship with the Newseum.