Visitors approach the 9/11 Gallery of the Newseum in respectful silence, as many of them recall their own memories of where they were at the time of the attacks.
The first screen features news coverage of the attacks. Around the corner is a wall filled with front pages from newspapers all over the world.
A twisted broadcast antenna, pictured left, is the centerpiece of the exhibit. The antenna once soared above the World Trade Center’s North Tower, but its distortion reminds visitors of the gravity of 9/11.
From the eyes of a journalist
Behind the wall of front pages is a room that plays a documentary about journalists at the scene of 9/11. A solitary box of tissues stands at the entrance. Upon entering, visitors can hear sniffles and quiet sobs, as people relive the horror of the attacks through these journalists’ eyes.
The journalists discuss the struggle between their duty to report the news and their own public safety. One journalist recalls the moment when tragedy struck her, as she broke down at the scene. The documentary features footage of cameramen and news anchors running for their lives from the debris.
A tribute to Bill Biggart
To the back of the exhibit is a tribute to the one fallen journalist during the 9/11 attacks. Bill Biggart was on a walk with his wife when the attacks began. He grabbed his camera and ran towards the commotion. Biggart’s body was found in the rubble days later.
Biggart is an inspiring example of a journalist that lost his life in his attempts to document history. Miraculously, his friend recovered photographs from his demolished camera (pictured right). A photo of the second tower collapsing was the last image on his camera.
A personal inspiration
The media play an integral role in spreading news. On Sept. 11, 2001, it was dedicated journalists who relayed the news and kept the public up to date with the attacks, and it was copy editors that ensured that the news was accurate.
“Creative Editing” calls copy editors “dedicated, intelligent individuals whose love of language and penchant for precision make many reporters look good.”
However, during the 9/11 attacks, there was more at stake than making reporters “look good”; it was about keeping people safe and informed.
The 9/11 journalists who ran towards the attacks, risking their lives to document history, is an inspiration to use my own skills for something bigger than myself. When I graduate, I aspire to do public relations and marketing for social enterprises because I want to create a sustainable, social impact on the world.