07.13.17

The Highliner Goes to D.C.

Daniel Mendel
English Teacher for the Upper Grades Program, Upper Division, Avenues: The World School

This spring, the editorial staff of The Highliner joined Mr. Mendel and Ms. Trotter on a two-day field trip to Washington D.C. The trip honored the hard work and dedication of our upper grades student journalists by providing them with an immersive journalism-focused experience in our nation’s capital.

On the trip, editors met with freelance journalist and American University journalism professor Cecilia Simon; visited CNN studios and talked with executive producer of The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer, Jay Shaylor; and explored the evolution of print and electronic media, freedom of speech and freedom of the press at Newseum

At the Newseum.

At the Newseum.

Of Newseum, sophomore Grace Franco said, “the biggest takeaway for me was appreciating how journalism impacts the telling of the history of the world. There was an exhibit on 9/11 that was very touching. It was incredible to learn about the role of journalists during that attack, [how they] risked their lives in order to spread vital information to the American people.”

Works on display at the Newseum.

Works on display at the Newseum.

A quote from Washington Post publisher Philip Graham – "Journalism is the first rough draft of history" – is carved into a wall at the Newseum.

A quote from Washington Post publisher Philip Graham – “Journalism is the first rough draft of history” – is carved into a wall at the Newseum.

Senior Lucas Hornsby’s favorite part of the trip “was our visit to Wolf Blitzer’s studio at CNN. That was my first insight into the behind the scenes of live television. The work dynamic, pace and general modus operandi of this industry stood out to me. [It] requires a form of rapid decision-making and work culture that are nearly foreign to me.”

Students visited the National Mall.

Students visited the National Mall.

Other highlights included a walk up the National Mall and visits to the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. With regard to the more “touristy” aspects of the trip, sophomore Clare Maleeny said, “I’d argue that the Washington memorial is just as rooted in the fundamentals of journalism as Newseum and CNN. The memorial carries a palimpsest of countless historic events and was founded on the ideals of liberation and freedom of speech. From this vantage, every turn on The Highliner’s D.C. journey revealed the art of journalism. It was an incredible trip filled with memorable sites, fun walks and great discussions together.”

Of the trip as a whole, Jackson Ehrenworth ’18 said, “It was a great bonding activity for The Highliner staff. We put in a lot of arduous, long hours during the year, and this gave us a chance to come together.”

Read the eighth issue of The Highliner.