Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Outside 555 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., the front pages of newspapers from all 50 U.S. states mark the entrance to the Newseum. Inside the lobby, a gallery of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs confronts visitors with moments of triumph and tragedy captured on camera. The museum’s corridors display exhibit after exhibit highlighting the role of journalism and journalists throughout history.
One of the Newseum’s most moving tributes is its Journalists Memorial, a wall of glass paneling imprinted with the names of more than 2,000 people around the world who have died while reporting the news. Nearby kiosks narrate their stories, an online database enables anybody with Internet access to learn more, and our new YouTube channel further remembers these fallen journalists through video.
Earlier this week, Krishna Bharat, founder and head of Google News, spoke at the memorial’s annual rededication ceremony. As you can watch in the video below, he began by reflecting on what motivated those being honored “to walk a path that was not paved with gold, but with danger.”
Over the course of his address, Krishna discussed the importance of a free press to society and of high-quality content to the web, observed the rising number of online journalists and bloggers coming under attack, and recounted incidents reported by the Committee to Protect Journalists. On a personal level, he also shared his memories as a boy in India and the influence of his grandfather in inspiring his appreciation for news.
“The journalists we remember and honor today chose lives that were full of meaning and purpose,” he concluded. “Let their stories not be forgotten. Let us repeat them. Let us re-tweet them. And let us print them on our pages so the world knows that silencing a journalist simply does not pay.”
To their families, friends, and colleagues, we extend our sympathy and respect.