FBI Reaches Milestone with 'Most Wanted' List
WASHINGTON — The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the 499th and 500th additions to its famous Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list at a morning press conference June 17 at the Newseum.
Ronald Hosko, assistant director of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division, revealed the two fugitives as Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara, who is wanted for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, second-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated burglary. Walter Lee Williams, the 500th suspect, is wanted for sexual exploitation of children, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, and criminal forfeiture.
Michael Kortan, assistant director of the FBI Office of Public Affairs, cited the Newseum as a "valued partner" since the opening in 2008 of the museum's popular "G-Men and Journalists" exhibit. The exhibit includes the first Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, interactive displays and more than 200 artifacts that aim to educate the public about the relationship between the press and law enforcement.
J. Edgar Hoover implemented the list in 1950 after The Washington Daily News ran a front-page story by James Donovan with photos and descriptions of the 10 most wanted fugitives in the United States. In the 63-year history of the program, 469 of the suspects on the list have been apprehended; 155 of those captured were a direct result of public tips and assistance.
"You behind a camera, or another recording device, or folks listening at home, you all play a critical role in us achieving justice," said Hosko.
The FBI asks that anyone with information on any of the suspects on the list contact 1-800-CALLFBI.Related Links:
'Anchorman: The Exhibit' Opens Nov. 14 at the Newseum
WASHINGTON — The Newseum, in partnership with Paramount Pictures, will open "Anchorman: The Exhibit," featuring props, costumes and footage from the 2004 hit comedy "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy."
The exhibit will open on Nov. 14, 2013, prior to the release of the highly anticipated sequel "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues." It will be on display through Aug. 31, 2014.
"I'm literally trapped in a glass case of emotion," said Burgundy, commenting on his inclusion in the museum's exhibit.
The original film, written by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay, directed by McKay, and starring Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner, takes a comic look at a 1970s-era television newsroom and the legendary local anchorman who ruled it until a female reporter arrived to challenge the all-male news team. "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues" reunites Ferrell and McKay with the original cast and hits theaters Dec. 20, 2013.
Included in "Anchorman: The Exhibit":
- Costumes worn by the Channel 4 Evening News team
- A re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and news set
- A number of original props from the movie, including Burgundy's jazz flute and the whip used by rival anchorman Arturo Mendez during the film's memorable fight scene between rival news teams
Visitors to the exhibit also will have an opportunity to step in front of the camera and participate in an Anchorman-themed TV spot at one of the Newseum's Be a TV Reporter stations. With lead anchor Burgundy providing a snappy introduction, budding reporters can find out if they have what it takes to become a member of the Channel 4 news teams.
The exhibit also will feature clips from the movie and special commentary by Ferrell.
Freedom to Gather News at the Heart of AP Phone Debate
Freedom to report the news requires the freedom to gather it.
In the months ahead, that basic concept — so central to the First Amendment's protection of a free press — will also be at the heart of the ongoing debate over how far government officials may go in pursuit of those responsible for "leaking" classified information to journalists.
The debate kicked off new fervor with disclosure of a wide search conducted by the Department of Justice in which it seized phone records of The Associated Press that spanned two months, multiple offices and even some personal lines.
The bushel-basket, clandestine nature of the seizure meant AP was not given the opportunity to argue for even a more focused search on a specific leak — leaving the work of up to 100 journalists on multiple stories exposed to government scrutiny.
Then there was the outright label of criminal conduct, as a "co-conspirator and/or aider and abettor," attached by an FBI agent to James Rosen, chief Washington correspondent for Fox News. Justice Department officials apparently believe Rosen solicited confidential information from a U.S. State Department source about a 2009 pending North Korean missile launch.
In seeking a search warrant in 2010 to secretly examine Rosen's emails, the agent said the journalist's tactics included "employing flattery" and playing to the source's "vanity and ego." The source later was indicted, and reportedly, the FBI riffled through Rosen's emails for at least 30 days, along with phone data and computer records of Rosen's trips in and out of State Department buildings.
Mass collection of journalists' phone call information. Threats of "criminal liability" aimed at reporters who get information from confidential sources in the government. The idea that "flattery" equals espionage.
Combined with an unprecedented six prosecutions for alleged leaks — double the number under all previous administrations combined — it all adds up to a not-so-subtle message: "Don't ask, don't tell."
But asking official sources to tell what they know, on or off-the-record, is essential to the role of a free press as an independent source of information about the government's inner workings.
Conscientious whistleblowers in recent years have alerted fellow citizens to morally questionable interrogation tactics and potentially illegal wiretapping of phone conversations, and spurred publicly outcry over issues such as the Pentagon's failure to provide in a timely manner and in sufficient numbers, supplies of available, mine-resistant vehicles to U.S. troops in the Middle East.
The basic question of how a free press must function will again complicate a renewed push in Congress for a so-called shield law — the "Free Flow of Information Act." In setting out when a journalist may choose not to tell the name of a confidential source, and perhaps when the government may not ask, the methods of newsgathering will be front and center.
Any such law also will have to address First Amendment concerns over becoming a back-door form of official "licensing" of who is entitled to the full rights of a free press.
In his letter to the Department of Justice objecting to the records seizure, Gary Pruitt, CEO of the AP, said that if the practice went unchallenged, the long-term result would be "the people of the United States will only know what the government wants them to know. … That's not what the framers of the Constitution had in mind when they wrote the First Amendment."
As some draw a connection between the AP and Rosen flaps to the Nixon anti-press era, it's also instructive as this national debate continues to consider the words in 1971 of U.S. District Judge Murray Gurfein.
In his first days as a federal judge in the Southern District of York, Gurfein rejected the initial government attempt to stop The New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers. In his ruling, he said:
"The security of the Nation is not at the ramparts alone. Security also lies in the value of our free institutions. A cantankerous press, an obstinate press, an ubiquitous press, must be suffered by those in authority in order to preserve the even greater values of freedom of expression and the right of the people to know. These are troubled times. There is no greater safety valve for discontent and cynicism about the affairs of government than freedom of expression in any form."
True then. True now.Related Links:
New Exhibit 'Make Some Noise' Opens Aug. 2
WASHINGTON — In time for the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, the Newseum will open "Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement," an exhibit that explores the new generation of student leaders in the early 1960s who fought segregation by making their voices heard and exercising their First Amendment rights.
The exhibit will feature a section of the original F.W. Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, N.C., where in 1960 four African-American college students launched the sit-in movement by refusing to leave their counter stools after being denied service in the whites-only section.
"Make Some Noise" will spotlight key figures in the student civil rights movement, including John Lewis, now a U.S. representative from Georgia, and Julian Bond, who later became chairman of the NAACP. Through the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the young activists took direct action to end segregation and break down racial barriers in voting rights, education and the workplace by organizing sit-ins, marches and voter registration drives.
The exhibit also will feature a bronze casting of the Birmingham, Ala., jail cell door behind which civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. penned his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail" in 1963.
In addition to "Make Some Noise," the Newseum will launch a three-year changing exhibit, "Civil Rights at 50," which will be updated each year to chronicle milestones in the civil rights movement from 1963, 1964 and 1965 through historic front pages, magazines and news images. "Civil Rights at 50" will be on display through 2015.Related Links:
- Special Program: "The Legacy of Civil Rights Leader Medgar Evers"
- Newseum Podcast: Letter From A Birmingham Jail
- Medgar & Myrlie Evers Institute
Al Neuharth Says Final Goodbye
WASHINGTON — Al Neuharth had the first and last words at a lighthearted and emotional memorial celebration held May 15 in "the house that Al built," as former Newseum CEO Charles Overby called the Newseum in his remarks.
In a video that was taped before his death, Neuharth controlled his own memorial service just as he had in his colorful career as one of the most powerful CEOs in the country.
Neuharth paid special tribute to Gannett, USA Today, Freedom Forum and Newseum executives who were key players in his successful projects. He encouraged guests to stand and sing along with many of his favorite songs, beginning with "God Bless America," and including "This Land Is Your Land." The Frank Sinatra classic "My Way" was reworded to reflect Neuharth doing things his way.
"Hi. In case you've already forgotten, I used to be Al Neuharth," the founder of the Newseum and USA Today said to the delight of the crowd of 500 family, friends and colleagues. Neuharth died April 19 at age 89.
In his welcoming address, Jim Duff, CEO of the Newseum and the Diversity Institute, set the mood by inviting guests to "whoop, holler and exercise your First Amendment freedoms. Al did not like stuffy parties," he said.
Thus began a unique send-off that ranked with the memorial services of Ford Motor Company founder Henry Ford II and Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist Art Buchwald, two celebrations that Neuharth admired and cited as "full of felicity."
Politicians, journalists, educators and students remembered Neuharth for his dedication to free speech, education, diversity, and patriotism.
"He was one of the few CEOs who sent the elevator back down. He knew about leaning forward long ago," said Madelyn Jennings, former senior vice president of personnel at Gannett and a Newseum trustee emeritus.
"It is no coincidence that half of the speakers this evening are women," said journalist Judy Woodruff, who is also a Freedom Forum and Newseum trustee. "There wasn't a CEO or media magnate in America who cared more for women than Al."
John Seigenthaler, founding editorial page editor at USA Today and founder of the Newseum's First Amendment Center in Nashville, drew laughs when he equated the three memorials held for Neuharth this week with the ambitious programs that took him all over the world. A program is scheduled at the University of South Dakota on May 17. The first of the services was held May 14 in Melbourne, Fla.
"Al had his BusCapade and JetCapade and NewsCapade, so why should we be surprised tonight to be part of FuneralCapade," Seigenthaler said. "[Neuharth] made those institutions in the image of the country he loved," he added.
Former Sen. Tom Daschle remembered his fellow South Dakotan as a patriot who was proud of his small-town roots. Neuharth was born in Eureka, S.D., and was raised in his mother's hometown of Alpena, S.D.
"Al had more invincible determination than anyone I ever met in my life," Daschle said. "Most of us will miss him only on days ending in Y."
Six former Al Neuharth Free Spirit Scholars thanked Neuharth for the annual program he founded that is dedicated to high school students seeking careers in journalism.
At the end of the 90-minute service, it was Neuharth who had the final say. With his voice cracking, and in the plain talk for which he was famous, he dispensed final wisdom and also paid tribute to his family "who sometimes took a back seat" to his corporate life.
"Life is not an undefeated season. We must always play to win, but we will win some, and we will lose some. Failure is not fatal. We simply must dream, and dare, and do."Related Links:
Win a Luxurious Weekend in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON — In celebration of the popular JFK exhibits, the Newseum is treating one lucky grand-prize winner and a guest to a VIP weekend in the nation's capital.
The fabulous prize package includes:
- Two nights at The Monaco Washington, D.C.
- Tickets to the Newseum and other top local attractions
- A walking tour and a bus tour
- Dinner, on us!
This contest has ended.
The Newseum JFK Sweepstakes is presented in partnership with:
Seizure of AP Phone Records an Affront to a Free Press
What The Associated Press calls "a massive and unprecedented intrusion by the Department of Justice" into its news-gathering activities is more than an affront to a free press — it's a direct challenge.
If the seizure of telephone records from offices and personal lines is as broad and unfocused as AP CEO Gary Pruitt describes, the DOJ's move to seize records of calls made from offices and personal phones of AP journalists marks a new and threatening move by an administration already facing reports that the IRS has targeted groups simply for educating others about the Constitution and Bill of Rights, and a record of the most prosecutions ever of government employees over leaks to the press, under the nearly-100 year old Espionage Act.
The nation's founders provided strong protection for a free press in the form of the First Amendment to guarantee a free flow of news and information from a source not licensed or controlled by the government.
According to Pruitt, records were seized of more than 20 phone lines used mostly in New York and Washington, D.C., and some home phone records for AP staff, for a two-month period early last year. Potentially, as many as 100 AP journalists may have used those lines in newsgathering activities.
"These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP's newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP's activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know," Pruitt said in a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Even if focused later on a very specific reason, such as a dire and immediate threat to national security, the breadth of the seizure will have a chilling effect on the ability of reporters to gather information from regular and confidential sources on any variety of stories, not just one report.
One possible reason for the seizure: A May 7, 2012, AP story about a foiled terror plot, including details of a CIA operation in Yemen, which used information from a confidential source. The Justice Department has announced an investigation to locate that source.
An inescapable, even if unintended effect of such a seizure — and one reason such actions are so rare — is that it, in effect, turns the news media's very news-gathering process into another investigative tool of the government. Reporters become effectively recorders of contacts and information for the prosecution, not at all what journalism is supposed to be.
The DOJ has crafted over the years a careful policy with regard to the press and such seizures of records. In effect, it's a final option when others have failed, to be approved only at the highest levels, including the Attorney General. Very often in past years, there has been a negotiation in advance to narrow the scope of such an inquiry and an opportunity for the news operation to raise a legal challenge.
What's disturbing, at least as indicated by Pruitt, is that there has been no disclosure to AP or the public of any of those justifications, no advance warning or negotiation, no opportunity to raise an objection before a judge. The DOJ's response thus far has been only a restatement of the policy, which seems tepid and well short of good disclosure to the American public regarding what may well be pursuit of past transgressions.
In effect, Justice officials have told the nation's journalists to rely on DOJ's judgment. James Madison would likely have just chuckled at that notion.
The nation's founders insulated a free press against government control and harassment even in their period of an ardently combative and partisan press. They had experience with press licensing and government attempts to rule over it — and decided against that circumstance.
For an administration that has cloaked itself in a self-proclaimed mission to become the most transparent, open government to-date, such a wide, secret dragnet aimed at a huge number of journalists seems contradictory — even predatory.
Yes, gains in public access to records have been recorded. But some scientific groups and others note access to experts to interpret such information is guarded or unavailable without special "minders" to oversee interviews.
Though the White House pledged to protect whistleblowers who work within government channels, Holder has prosecuted six government employees for alleged leaks under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all previous attorneys general.
The American Civil Liberties Union reported in 2012 a "huge increase" in the use of warrantless wiretap surveillance by the Obama administration — the mirror action of seizure of AP phone records.
The government has a right, when it comes to leaks and national security, to police its own house.
But we all — not just journalists — should be concerned when that effort spills over so broadly into the inner workings of a free press.Related Links:
Dates Set for Al Neuharth Memorial Celebrations
Final schedules for the celebrations of the life of Newseum and Freedom Forum founder Al Neuharth were announced May 6.
Programs will take place in Florida, Washington, D.C., and South Dakota, and are open to the public.
Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. EDT
Location: FLORIDA TODAY
1 Gannett Plaza
Date: Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Time: 5:30 p.m. EDT
555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Date: Friday, May 17, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. CDT
Location: University of South Dakota
Aalfs Auditorium, Slagle Hall
414 E. Clark Street
Vermillion, South Dakota
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the following organizations:
The Newseum, a 501(c)(3) public charity based in Washington, D.C., that champions the five freedoms of the First Amendment. newseum.org
The Eureka Pioneer Museum, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization based in Eureka, S.D., featuring a wide range of historic materials from pioneer settlers. Some of Neuharth's career and personal memorabilia will be housed in the museum. P.O. Box 116, Eureka, SD 57437
The Al Neuharth Scholarship for Excellence in Journalism, a tax-deductible fund of the USD Foundation at the University of South Dakota that is available to high school seniors who are talented in journalism. www.usd.edu/cmj
Brevard Reaching Out, Inc., a tax-deductible holiday fund sponsored by FLORIDA TODAY that purchases books and toys for the area's needy children. www.floridatoday.com/content/reachingout/fund.shtml
World Press Freedom Declined in 2012
WASHINGTON — The percentage of the world's population that has access to a free press declined during 2012, according to an annual survey released by Freedom House, which has documented media independence since 1980.
The results were announced May 1 at a ceremony at the Newseum.
One hundred and ninety-seven countries were monitored. Of that total, 32 percent were "free;" 36 percent were "partly free;" and 32 percent were "not free."
In 2012, the press status in eight countries changed. Karin Karlekar, project director at Freedom House, said this marked the first time in history that all country changes were in a negative direction.
The Newseum's color-coordinated international map, located in the Time Warner World News Gallery, reflects the different levels of press freedom internationally as determined by Freedom House. Countries painted in green have a free press. Those in yellow have partial press freedom. The countries in red allow no press freedom.
- Three countries — Greece, Mali and Israel — changed from "free" to "partly free"
- Five countries — Egypt, Paraguay, Ecuador, Guinea-Bissau and Thailand — changed from "partly free" to "not free"
Norway and Sweden remain the most free in the world. Both have constitutions that guarantee press freedom. Newspaper readership is high, and Internet access is widely available and unrestricted.
The worst of the worst countries for press freedom were Belarus, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
North Korea saw a slight improvement in press freedom than in previous years, according to the report, as a result of increased attempts to evade censorship by smuggled DVDs to spread news and information.
Bette Bao Lord and Winston Lord have made a generous pledge in support of this annual program. Bao Lord is chairman emeritus of Freedom House and a Newseum trustee.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization based in Washington, D.C., that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world and advocates for democracy and human rights.
For more information on Freedom House and the survey, visit www.freedomhouse.org.
Neuharth Tributes Pour in From Across the USA
WASHINGTON — Memorial celebrations are pending for Al Neuharth, founder of USA Today, the Freedom Forum and the Newseum, in Melbourne, Fla., Washington, D.C., at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, and in his hometown, Eureka, S.D., where he will be buried in a Neuharth family plot.
Since his death April 19 at the age of 89, tributes have been written by people across the country whose lives have been touched in ways big and small by Neuharth and his legacy: Neighbors. Current and former colleagues. Alumni from the Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference program.
Their comments have been eloquent, plain and simple — the "plain talk" that Neuharth preferred. We'd like to share some of their comments from our online and social media sites and from blogs and news organizations around the world.Related Links:
- Remembering Al Neuharth
- USA Today (April 19, 2013)
- Clarion Ledger (April 19, 2013)
- Argus Leader (April 20, 2013)
- Bloomberg (April 20, 2013)
- RealClearPolitics (April 21, 2013)
- Daily Journal (April 21, 2013)
- Huffington Post (April 21, 2013)
- Florida Today (April 22, 2013)
- Rapid City Journal (April 22, 2013)
- GoErie.com (April 22, 2013)
- Talkers (April 22, 2013)
- The Georgetowner (April 22, 2013)
- London: The News (April 22, 2013)
- National Association of Black Journalists (April 22, 2013)
- Lawrence Journal-World (April 25, 2013)
- News & Observer (April 25, 2013)
- Diverse Issues in Higher Education (April 22, 2013)
- Indianz.com (April 22, 2013)
Free Speech Activist Launches Nationwide Educational Tour
Free speech activist Mary Beth Tinker has launched a crowdsourced campaign to raise money for a cross-country "Tinker Tour" during the 2013-2014 school year.
Tinker is using the tour to educate a new generation of students about their First Amendment freedoms.
In 1965 Tinker, then a 13-year-old student in Des Moines, Iowa, her brother and a friend, were suspended from school for wearing black armbands to mourn the dead in the Vietnam War. In a landmark case in 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court found the suspensions to be violations of the First Amendment.
The court declared that freedom of expression should be protected in public schools and that both students and teachers do not "shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate."
The armband worn by Tinker is on display in the Cox Enterprises First Amendment Gallery.
Two Journalists Add Pulitzers to Chips Quinn Program
WASHINGTON — Lisa Song, a spring 2010 Chips Quinn Scholar, was one of three reporters for the online InsideClimate News who was awarded a Pulitzer Prize April 15, 2013, for national reporting.
The three journalists from InsideClimate News were cited "for their rigorous reports on flawed regulation of the nation 's oil pipelines, focusing on potential ecological dangers posed by diluted bitumen (or 'dilbit '), a controversial form of oil."
"I'm in shock, and I owe a lot to the Chips Quinn program, " Song said. "Those multimedia skills from the orientation helped me get my current job, so thank you."
Song participated in the Chips Quinn Scholars program through its partnership with High Country News in Paonia, Colo., a nonprofit independent media organization that covers important issues unique to the American West.
Song earned a master 's degree in science writing in 2009 and a bachelor 's degree in environmental science in 2008 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A talented researcher and writer, she was one of 11 journalists selected to attend a marine science seminar in July 2011 hosted by the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography.
The Pulitzer Prize for breaking news was awarded to the newsroom of The Denver Post, where Yesenia Robles, a spring 2011 Chips Quinn Scholar, is a staff writer.
The Pulitzer board cited The Denver Post for its "comprehensive coverage of the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that killed 12 and injured 58, using journalistic tools, from Twitter and Facebook to video and written reports, both to capture a breaking story and provide context."
"It 's still exciting to get to work for a newspaper that has celebrated a Pulitzer Prize four years in a row now, " Robles said.
Robles arrived at The Denver Post as an intern in January 2010 and was hired full time eight months later. She earned her bachelor 's degree in journalism from the University of Colorado in 2009.
Song and Robles join 11 other Chips Quinn Scholars who have been part of Pulitzer Prize-winning newsroom teams.
John C. Quinn, co-founder of the Chips Quinn Scholars Program, applauded Song and Roble 's Pulitzer honors.
"Lisa and Yesenia, you make all of us associated with the Chips Quinn Scholars program proud of your great accomplishment in your budding careers. You enrich the program 's commitment to professional journalism and to personal diversity. Well done. "
The Newseum's Chips Quinn Scholars Program for Diversity in Journalism offers students hands-on training and mentoring by caring news veterans. More than 1,300 men and women have been named Chips Quinn Scholars since 1991. A complete list of scholars who have helped their newsrooms win a Pulitzer is included in a PDF.
The next class of the Chips Quinn Scholars program convenes May 13-19, 2013, at the John Seigenthaler Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.Related Links:
Remembering Al Neuharth
Allen H. Neuharth, founder of USA Today, the Freedom Forum and the Newseum, died Friday, April 19, 2013, in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He was 89.
For more than half a century, Neuharth was a driving force in newspaper innovation, journalism education and newsroom diversity.
"Al will be remembered for many trailblazing achievements in the newspaper business, but one of his most enduring legacies will be his devotion to educating and training new journalists," said Jim Duff, president and chief executive officer of the Freedom Forum, and CEO of the Newseum and the Diversity Institute. "He taught them the importance of not only a free press but a fair one."
Neuharth was born March 22, 1924, in Eureka, S.D. He got his first job at age 11, delivering newspapers in Alpena, S.D. At Alpena High School, he was editor of the Echo, which he said made him "feel like the most powerful kid in school."
He served in World War II as a combat infantryman in both Europe and the Pacific and was awarded a Bronze Star. After the war, he attended the University of South Dakota under the GI bill and majored in journalism. He was editor of the student newspaper, The Volante, and graduated cum laude in 1950. His first job after graduation was as a reporter for The Associated Press in Sioux Falls. A high-definition media center at USD is named for him.
Despite those accomplishments, failure was the catalyst for Neuharth's success.
In 1952, he and a friend raised $50,000 to launch SoDak Sports, a statewide weekly newspaper printed on peach-colored paper. The publication failed to attract advertisers and went bankrupt in two years. Neuharth often said SoDak Sports failed "because I had mismanaged it."
Broke and in debt, Neuharth "ran away" to Florida at age 30, where he was hired as a reporter for The Miami Herald.
"Failure shouldn't stop your drive to succeed," Neuharth said. "How you respond to failure makes all the difference."
During the next few years, Neuharth rose from reporter to management positions in the Knight newspaper group in Miami and Detroit. He joined Gannett Co. Inc. in 1963. From 1976 to 1989, he was Gannett's chairman, CEO and president. Under his leadership, an unprecedented number of women and minorities were promoted to top newsroom and corporate positions. He said his widowed mother's struggle to earn a living during the Depression was the impetus.
In his 2000 book "Free Spirit," Neuharth explained that his mother earned $10 a week washing dishes and taking in laundry, while men earned $5 a day under President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration.
"Those childhood memories made me determined as an adult to work for equal treatment, equal pay and equal opportunity for people of every age, race, sex and religion," he said.
Perhaps one of the biggest achievements in Neuharth's professional career was the founding of USA Today, the nation's No. 1 newspaper in print circulation.
In 1979, Neuharth began thinking about a national newspaper "so different, so advanced in design and appearance and content that it would pull the rest of the industry into the 21st century."
The idea grew in part from his role in the 1966 launch of "Florida's Space Age Newspaper" Today — now Florida Today — that became the first successful new newspaper of any size since World War II. Armed with that experience and surveys that said readers were ready for bold, new ideas, Neuharth launched USA Today in 1982.
Traditionalists scoffed at the tightly written newspaper, calling it fast-food journalism — "McPaper." Within a decade, USA Today's graphics, short stories and full-color sections all were widely imitated.
Neuharth retired from Gannett in 1989 and wrote a weekly column called "Plain Talk," which appeared in USA Today and other newspapers. He loved to ignite debate on subjects ranging from politics to sports to family matters. He insisted that a "Feedback" segment accompany each column, to give those he mentioned in the column a chance to agree or disagree with him. He never missed writing a column in 24 years.
In 1991, two years after his retirement from Gannett, Neuharth founded the Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation that champions the First Amendment as a cornerstone of democracy. The Freedom Forum is the major funder of the operations of the Newseum.
Neuharth authored eight books, including his autobiography, "Confessions of an S.O.B.," which was a national best-seller and was translated into five languages.
He is survived by his third wife, Dr. Rachel Fornes, and their six adopted children: Alexis, Karina, twins Andre and Ariana, and twins Aliandro and Rafaelina; his two children by his first marriage to Loretta Helgeland: Dan, a psychotherapist, marriage counselor and author in California; and Jan, a lawyer, businesswoman and author in Middleburg, Va., and chairwoman of the Freedom Forum Board of Trustees; his son-in-law, Joseph Keusch; and his two grandchildren: Dani, and AJ. His second wife was Lori Wilson, a former Florida state senator.
An exhibit on Neuharth's career is on display in the News Corporation News History Gallery at the Newseum.
Share your memories of Al Neuharth on the Newseum's Facebook page.Related Links:
"All The President's Men Revisited" at the Newseum
The premiere screening of actor and director Robert Redford's new documentary "All The President's Men Revisited" was held Thursday, April 18, 2013, at the Newseum.
The documentary is a look back at the 1976 film starring Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they investigated the Watergate scandal.
Redford, Woodward, Bernstein and former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee attended the screening, which airs on the Discovery Channel Sunday, April 21, 2013, at 8 p.m. EDT.
Washington's local Fox News station covered the event. Click here for more details.
Explore the Newseum's "JFK" Exhibits Online
If you're planning a visit to the Newseum to see our popular "JFK" exhibits, there are numerous places online where you can find more information and join the conversation about the exhibits.
Join more than 60,000 fans on Facebook for unique content about President Kennedy, including commemorations of landmark events of his presidency.
Follow us on Twitter and use #JFKNewseum to talk about the exhibits and share your remembrances of the Kennedys.
Visit our YouTube channel for original video content, including short features and interviews with reporters who covered the Kennedy presidency and assassination.
Share photos of your visit to the Newseum on Instagram and follow the Newseum for exclusive images from the exhibits.
Our new Pinterest board, "Remembering JFK," features photos of handwritten visitor memories of the day President Kennedy was shot.
Check out the "JFK at the Newseum" photoset on Flickr for an inside look at the artifacts and stories from the exhibits.
2013 Pulitzer Prizes Awarded
The best in journalism was honored Monday, April, 15, 2013, with the awarding of the Pulitzer Prize, journalism's highest honor.
Awards were given in 14 journalism categories. The public service award — which comes with a prestigious gold medal — is given to a news organization. All other winners receive $10,000 each.
This year, the Pulitzer Prize for public service was awarded to the Sun Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for its investigation of off-duty police officers who recklessly endangered the lives of the city's citizens.
Brad Schrade, Jeremy Olson and Glenn Howatt of the Minneapolis Star Tribune won for local reporting. Their reports on the spike in infant deaths at poorly regulated day-care homes resulted in legislative action to strengthen rules.
The award for breaking news photography went to Rodrigo Abd, Manu Brabo, Narciso Contreras, Khalil Hamra and Muhammed Muheisen of The Associated Press for their coverage of the civil war in Syria.
Freelance photographer Javier Manzano won the award for feature photography. Manzano was cited for his photograph, distributed by Agence France-Presse, of two Syrian rebel soldiers guarding their position as beams of light streamed through bullet holes in a nearby metal wall.
These images will be added to the Newseum's permanent and traveling exhibits of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs. The exhibit catalog, "The Pulitzer Prize Photographs: Capture the Moment," showcases the photographs and reveals the stories behind them.
Since 1917, Columbia University has recognized remarkable achievements in journalism, arts and letters, thanks to a bequest from crusading publisher Joseph Pulitzer. In his will, he endowed the university with $2 million for a school of journalism and "prizes or scholarships for the encouragement of public service, public morals, American literature and the advancement of education."
- Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery
- Pulitzer Prize Photos
- Buy "The Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs" (Paperback)
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"JFK" Opens at Newseum
WASHINGTON — The Newseum kicked off the launch of its highly anticipated exhibits on the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy on April 11 with an exclusive music-filled reception and exhibit preview.
"An Evening in Camelot" evoked the elegance and glamour the young president and his family brought to the White House in the early 1960s, and included a VIP guest list of Kennedy family, friends and former aides, and journalists who covered Kennedy's presidency and his assassination.
Guests — including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi; CBS president Les Moonves; veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer; former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee; former U.S. ambassador Marc Ginsberg; Victoria Allen, daughter of Kennedy photographer Jacques Lowe; Dr. William Kennedy Smith, a nephew of President Kennedy; and Clint Hill, who was first lady Jacqueline Kennedy's secret service agent during her time in the White House — were the first to view the "JFK" exhibits on the eve of its official opening.
Newseum founding partner Clarice Smith attended the reception with her daughter, Michelle. Smith and her late husband Robert E. Smith were early Newseum donors. The original "JFK" documentary "A Thousand Days" is currently showing in the 120-seat Big Screen Theater that is named after them.
"Creating Camelot: The Kennedy Photography of Jacques Lowe" and "Three Shots Were Fired are the two remaining parts of the three-segment "JFK" exhibit. "Creating Camelot" showcases the unforgettable images of public and private moments by Kennedy's personal photographer. Nikon is the exclusive sponsor of "Creating Camelot." "Three Shots Were Fired" chronicles the events that began in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, when a United Press International bulletin broke the news that President Kennedy had been shot. Premier sponsorship support for "Three Shots Were Fired" has been provided by Altria Group and CBS.
The JFK exhibits have attracted considerable local, national and international media coverage.
Read about the exhibits and media coverage of the launch in a selection of links below.Related Links:
- "CBS This Morning"
- "CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley"
- "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams"
- The New York Times
- Time magazine
- USA Today (February 17, 2013)
- Washingtonian magazine
- WTOP 103.5 FM
Newseum Receives Top Honors in NY Festivals Awards
WASHINGTON — Three original Newseum film productions have been honored by the 2013 New York Festivals' International Television & Film Awards. The awards were announced April 9, 2013, at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas.
The Newseum's entries competed against those from HBO, CBS, CNN and the BBC in the competition that honors many types of programs submitted from more than 50 countries.
A Gold World Medal in production design/art direction in the documentaries category went to a film focusing on presidential campaign advertisements shown in the Newseum's Robert H. and Clarice Smith Big Screen Theater as part of the exhibit "Every Four Years: Presidential Campaigns and the Press," which closed in January 2013.
The Smith Big Screen Theater provided a particular production challenge, according to Paul Sparrow, the Newseum's senior vice president of broadcasting.
"The Big Screen Theater has a 100-foot-wide by eight-foot-high screen with five projectors seamed together. We were working with traditional political television commercials to create a design that provided additional information while the TV spots were running. It was a huge challenge," Sparrow said.
"Osama bin Laden: Interviewing a Terrorist" won a Silver World Medal in documentaries. The film is shown in the FBI exhibit and tells the story of the 1998 interview by John Miller of ABC News that effectively introduced American TV audiences to the al-Qaida leader.
A Finalist Certificate was awarded to "Neil Leifer: Photo Finish" in the documentaries category, shown as a part of a limited run exhibit on sports photography.
In addition to the New York Festivals awards, "What is New Media?" the video featured in the HP New Media Gallery, won a CINE Golden Eagle.
The opening of the "JFK" exhibit on April 12, 2013, at the Newseum includes the premiere of the original documentary "A Thousand Days," which takes viewers through the events that defined President John F. Kennedy's abbreviated time in office.Related Links:
Remembering Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert, the Pulitzer Prize-winning movie critic whose trademark thumbs-up or thumbs-down rating system influenced millions of movie-goers, died April 4, 2013. He was 70.
Just two days ago, Ebert wrote on his blog that he would be "taking a leave of presence" because of a recurrence of cancer. He also said that his blog would take on an additional focus.
"At this point in my life, in addition to writing about movies, I may write about what it's like to cope with health challenges and the limitations they can force upon you," he said.
Ebert was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2002 and cancer of the salivary gland a year later. Complications from subsequent surgeries and treatments left him unable to speak. He communicated through a computerized voice synthesizer.
"I certainly miss not being able to speak," he said in a 2009 interview, "but I still have the written word that has been my first love, and I continue at full speed."
Ebert began his career as a film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1967, a job the Sun-Times offered him after its previous reviewer retired.
"I think I got the job because I was young, had long hair and had reviewed the underground films that played at Second City every Monday night," he said in his book "Roger Ebert's Four-Star Reviews: 1967-2007."
Ebert's career spanned more than four decades, though he originally thought he would review movies for five years.
In 1975, he and Gene Siskel, a film critic for the rival Chicago Tribune, co-hosted a local television program called "Opening Soon at a Theater Near You." The program, where the two critiqued the latest movies of all genres, was picked up in 1978 by PBS and renamed "Sneak Previews." In 1982, the Emmy-winning pair moved to commercial TV — all the while continuing their newspaper columns.
Their commercial program was called "At the Movies," and was later renamed "Siskel & Ebert at the Movies." From their balcony seats, the powerful duo gave a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" to movies they liked or disliked. Although they disagreed on some movies, they frequently agreed, and "two thumbs up" became the equivalent of a four-star seal of approval.
When Siskel died in 1999, several guest hosts took his place. Richard Roeper of the Sun-Times became a permanent replacement in 2000. "At the Movies with Ebert and Roeper" lasted until 2008.
Ebert wrote more than 300 movie reviews a year. On his final blog posting, he said he would focus more on his website, rogerebert.com.
"I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I'll see you at the movies."
Two Glamorous Events Celebrate Opening of 'JFK'
WASHINGTON — Two special events to celebrate the opening of the Newseum's "JFK" exhibit are being held exclusively for Newseum donors and contributing and sustaining press pass members
"An Evening in Camelot"
Thursday, April 11, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Be the first to see "Creating Camelot," "Three Shots Were Fired" and "A Thousand Days" — two new exhibits and an original documentary — before the grand opening April 12.
Join us for a heavy hors d'oeuvres and desserts reception hosted by Wolfgang Puck Catering, along with an open bar, live entertainment and picturesque views of the nation's capital from the Greenspun Terrace overlooking Pennsylvania Avenue.
Donors at the $2,500+ level will receive an invitation for two, along with the many benefits of the Friends of the First Amendment Society.
"Inside Look at Camelot"
Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Spend an intimate reception with Newseum curators as they answer questions about the artifacts in the exhibits and offer an exclusive view of the life and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. End the night on the Greenspun Terrace for a photo-op of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall.
Become a Press Pass member at the Contributing ($250) or Sustaining ($500) level, or join the Friends of the First Amendment Society at the $1,000 level, and receive two tickets to this special evening.