Newspaper Editors Get Their First Look at Newseum: ASNE Meeting Focus Goes Back to Basics

By Harper, Jennifer | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 9, 1997 | Go to article overview

Newspaper Editors Get Their First Look at Newseum: ASNE Meeting Focus Goes Back to Basics


Harper, Jennifer, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


News royalty met news palace last night when the American Society of Newspaper Editors launched its 1997 convention with a reception at the newly minted, $50 million Newseum in Arlington.

It was an interesting mix.

ASNE members are here until Friday for their annual foray into journalism and what it all means. Judging from their four-day agenda, the editors will emphasize the nuts and bolts of good old-fashioned news sense rather than the siren call of the Internet or electronic news gathering.

The silver-domed Newseum, due to open next week, is a veritable pantheon of high-tech interaction and video news wall, where visitors are part of "the news stream" and 1997 is the year of "do it" journalism.

Touch-display video screens incorporate "Be a Reporter" and "Be an Editor" functions; there are mock TV news desks and radio sound booths as well.

"It's a fun thing," said Victor Sollow, a Newseum spokesman. "People can come here and do a newscast with the Pentagon or some dinosaurs in the backdrop."

The site opens to the public April 18. Yesterday, it belonged to the media gentry alone.

What's hot with the ASNE this year? Identity. The convention began yesterday with a discussion titled "Are We Editors Any More? Seeking Re-enchantment," followed by an examination of the editorial persona itself. Topics included "Editors Reflecting on Their Current Roles" and "Advice on How Editors' Lives Can Be Better" from media-ready psychologist Joyce Brothers.

Hearst Newspapers also presented a new poll that could only come from editors. It revealed that most found reporters typically lacking in basic skills to cover key issues like welfare, homelessness and college financing. …

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