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September 21, 2007
For 160 years, the Associated Press has covered the world's history as it happened. Now, the stories behind some of those great stories — and the daring and dedication of the reporters who told them — will be on display at the University of Nevada, Reno's Reynolds School of Journalism atrium, Oct 1-5, in the retrospective, "Breaking News: How the Associated Press Has Covered War, Peace, and Everything Else." The exhibit will stop at the journalism school during its national tour.
"The exhibit tells a compelling story about the sacrifices made to protect freedom of the press, to capture the essence of a story that allows the reader to feel a part of the action, yet maintain the objectivity that respects the reader's right to form his or her own opinion," said Rosemary McCarthy, Reynolds School interim dean. "Through this amazing walk through history, the community will experience an emotional spectrum — excitement, pain, struggle, exuberance, desolation, and even victory — that attracts students to the practice of journalism."
Ellen Hale, AP vice president for corporate communications, Martha Mendoza and other journalists will talk about the exhibit and events that have shaped modern history. The presentation will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 3, in the journalism school's Room 101.
Mendoza, an award-winning national writer for the AP, won a 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting as part of a team that revealed, with extensive documentation, how American soldiers early in the Korean War killed hundreds of civilians at the No Gun Ri bridge. Most recently she has been an integral part of AP's team reporting on the "friendly-fire" death in Afghanistan of former NFL player Pat Tillman.
The exhibit and program will include photography and narrative about dozens of stories, including:
On the road to Burma in 1944, AP correspondent Frank Martin, observing a tribe of Naga headhunters singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" as the skeletons of 30,000 refugees lay nearby, reported that the tribe had learned the song from a missionary they had later beheaded.
After Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis in 1968, AP reporter Kathryn Johnson was welcomed into the King household in Atlanta, sometimes cooking bacon and eggs for mourners and hungry children, but also filing stories from the Kings' home.
As the last Americans fled Vietnam in 1975, George Esper, AP Saigon bureau chief, served Coca-Cola and stale pound cake to two North Vietnamese soldiers before calmly writing the bulletin announcing the fall of Saigon.
The exhibit at the journalism school will be open to the public each day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Attendees can purchase parking permits at the University's Center Street kiosk.
The exhibit will be held in conjunction with the release of the AP book of the same title, Breaking News. The Associated Students of the University of Nevada Bookstore will discount and sell copies of the book following Hale's talk.