Learning English - Words in the News
05 May, 2008 - Published 12:00 GMT
A new museum dedicated to the history of reporting the news has opened in Washington. The 'Newseum' aims to tell the story of how journalism has changed over time through momentous events and the constantly changing means of communication. Caroline Duffield reports:
Atmos - A Curator speaking
Museum curators say the idea's not to commemorate press barons, or individual journalists. But - to pay homage to America's First Amendment - the right to free speech and a free press. The museum examines the traditions of American journalism, including reporters who risked everything to do their job.
Visitors can listen to reports from Ed Murrow describing the London blitz as the bombs fell around him. He became a fierce defender of the press - challenging Senator McCarthy and his Un-American Activities Committee in the US.
The opening of this museum comes at an interesting moment for American journalism. The veteran CBS news anchor, Dan Rather, welcomes it - but told the BBC he believes an examination of American journalism is needed today:
DAN RATHER: We have been - American journalism - in a state of at least near crisis, partly because of the war, partly because of 9/11 - but no excuses. In some ways we lost our way and lost our spine… if you forgive the language, lost our guts. Well, it manifests itself by a reluctance, a hesitation and sometimes just outright declining to asking tough questions when speaking to powers. Particularly post 9/11 and, most especially, when the country is at war.
Dan Rather - once one of the best known faces of the evening news - was forced out from his TV network after documents used for a story criticising President Bush were called into question.
Caroline Duffield, BBC
to commemorate press barons
to pay homage
examines the traditions
a fierce defender
lost our spine
lost our guts
forced out from his TV network
called into question