A Closer Look at What Freedom Means

By Dean’s Intern Nthanze Kariuki

Nthanze KariukiWhat is your favorite First Amendment right? This is a question posed to interns during a lunch with Jan Neuharth, the Chair and CEO of the Freedom Forum.  This question really got me thinking about the First Amendment rights on a more personal level. They are all obviously important, but at that point in time, I picked the right for people to freely assemble. Just by looking back at the crazy moments that have happened this year alone – with the protests currently happening in China against police brutality to the protests that happened in Sudan that led to a fall of a regime and protests in Puerto Rico that resulted in Governor Rosselló’s resignation, they all symbolize the power that the people hold and not governments or regimes. It’s hard to pick one, but my time at the Newseum got me thinking about the First Amendment a lot and how important this institution is for protecting these freedoms and understanding the importance of free press.

On my first day, I got to sit in on interviews for Pulitzer Prize photography winners and it was inspiring to listen to journalists talk about their work that, even more so at this time when journalists are receiving a lot of backlash for their work. And as it turns out, my favorite exhibit is the Pulitzer Prize Photography gallery which highlights great moments and figures in time, while recognizing that journalism is still a dangerous job.

I enjoyed putting into practice all the skills I learnt in class as a production assistant this summer at the Newseum. Plus, I gained even more valuable lessons working with Premiere Pro to edit footage for the galleries and it was great formulating and working with the exhibit team that put together the “Seriously Funny” exhibit – which explores the impact Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” had on American politics. I got to film and edit a video for a Dulles man first man on the moon exhibit installation and got to work on editing videos for the gallery called Lighter Side of News. It was an all-encompassing journey that I hope can continue even after the Newseum moves at the end of the year.