While many enjoy the morning ritual of reading a newspaper while sipping their first cup of coffee of the day, few give thought to the effort it has taken to get that news to their front door.
Through exhibits, a movie and a host of special speakers, Eastern Illinois University hopes to broaden that understanding. Throughout the month of February, Booth Library and the Department of Journalism will co-present a series of events, all of which are free and open to the public.
Activities center around the national traveling exhibition, "Breaking News: How the Associated Press has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else." Based on a book by the same name, exhibition panels cover war, trials, aviation, sports, civil rights, foreign correspondents, disasters, the White House and AP staff members.
"Many of the AP photographs are instantly recognizable and conjure memories of where you were on that date and time," said Allen Lanham, dean of Booth Library. "These images are often the ones that are forever seared into our hearts and minds."
The exhibition will be displayed in the library's Marvin Foyer (north entrance) through Feb. 29.
In addition, several events are planned throughout the exhibit's tenure at EIU, including an opening reception at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, also in Marvin Foyer.
Former Charleston resident and EIU alumnus Chris Sundheim will describe what it's like to work for the world's largest news organization at 7 p.m. in Booth Library, Room 3000. Currently serving as a national editor for AP, helping to oversee the wire service's U.S. news report from its world headquarters in New York City, Sundheim is responsible for surveying the top stories in the U.S. each day and working with reporters from across the country. He has coordinated coverage of historic events, such as Hurricane Katrina, the 2006 midterm elections, and the return of the space shuttle program after the Columbia disaster.
Sundheim's visit is being made possible through the Richard A. Fox-Daniel E. Thornburgh Visiting Professionals Fund.
Joining him for the panel discussion, "Always on Deadline: How the Associated Press Covers the World," will be Martha Irvine, a Chicago-based national writer, and John M. Ryan, director of Student Publications and professor of journalism at Eastern. George Garties, AP bureau chief for Illinois, will attend as a special guest.
Other programs related to the news-gathering process are also planned.
--"Invisible People: Does Race Matter in News Coverage?" 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 11, Booth Library, Room 4440. A panel of professional and student journalists discuss the issues and challenges they face to ensure minority representation in news coverage. Topics covered include using sources, avoiding stereotyping and personal biases, and balancing ethics and subjectivity. Participants: Gerri Berendzen, Quincy Herald-Whig; Larissa Chinwah, Daily Herald; Jameel Naqvi, Daily Herald; and Marco Santana, The Daily Eastern News.
--"True Stories Behind Great Images," 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, Booth Library, Room 4440. Like many good stories, some photographs pose more questions than answers. Two EIU photojournalism professors and an ethics professor explore the amazing behind-the-lens stories about some of our most famous journalistic images and discuss why these photos are so important and the ethical concerns they present. Participants: Doug Lawhead, Brian Poulter and Pete Voelz.
--"How Did It Get On Page One?" 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, Booth Library, Room 4440. EIU journalism students describe how news travels through the newsroom -- from an assignment on the daily budget, to the reporters' notes, past the editor's desk, and on to the page. The discussion will focus on the editorial decisions made along the way, rather than simply the nuts and bolts of constructing and copy editing a story. Participants: Katie Anderson, Cathy Bayer and John M. Ryan.
--"The Civil Rights Movement, News Images and the Awakening of the American Social Conscience," 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, Booth Library, Room 4440. Civil rights activists deliberately used the power of images to galvanize social conscience and support for the movement. This panel discussion begins with the news coverage of the murder of Emmett Till to explore questions of how the media shape our collective memory. Participants: Gene Deerman, sociology, EIU; Eugenia Jefferson, journalism student, EIU; and Sally Turner, journalism, EIU.
-- "The Paper," a documentary film, 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, Booth Library, Room 4440. From gay rights to racial bias, from plummeting circulation to "infotainment," from burnt-out reporters to hard-bitten editors, "The Paper" goes inside the newsroom to reveal the drama of deadline journalism. But this is not some big-city major daily. It's The Daily Collegian, published by students at Pennsylvania State University who, in the course of one crisis-filled year, face crashing deadlines, ethical dilemmas, doubts and disagreements, all the while shouldering courses, homework and exams.
In addition, there are three exhibits with local themes to run concurrently with the "Breaking News" exhibit:
--"Little David North Puts Eastern on the Map: The 1954 Home Management House Controversy," North Lobby. Robert Hillman, Booth Library, curator.
-- "Go Blue: Eastern's Finest Athletes at Home," North Lobby. Sandy King, Athletics and Sports Information Department, curator.
-- "Newsworthy Visitors to Eastern Illinois University ," Marvin Foyer. Carl Lorber and David Bell, Booth Library, curators.
For information on all events, please see http://www.library.eiu.edu/exhibits/breakingnews/ .