“News quizzes are good.” said David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post -Gazette, during the last portion of our recent field trip to Pittsburgh. Professor Cheryl Hatch was delighted by this statement!
Journalism students, several professors and a local journalist boarded a coach bus early in the morning on Tuesday. We began our day with a brief video presentation from Jerome, our driver. Before we left Meadville, we were treated to donuts, fruit and the traditional news quiz.
It wasn’t long until the ice and snow from the night before was far behind us and the city landscape was within view.
Our day started at the University of Pittsburgh. We were directed to a large room with detailed architecture and ornate chandeliers. Two Pitt students did a presentation about the history of female war correspondents. Professor Cindy Skrzycki then introduced Professor Hatch, who shared her photos, camera and personal story with everyone. Her willingness to share her experiences was enlightening and moving.
Our next stop was Market Square for lunch. The cold, crisp air and the Christmas music playing in the square made the atmosphere festive . We all chose our favorite spots and enjoyed some warmth, food and conversation.
In an attempt to not waste a single minute of our experience, two of us decided to explore our surroundings. We managed to cross some busy streets despite an accident, lots of honking horns and just one disgruntled motorist. The subway station and the giant Christmas tree on the corner building were fascinating to both of us. We missed connecting with the rest of our group somehow, but a very nice man gave us directions and we found our way to the Pittsburgh Post -Gazette.
We joined the group as they were touring different news room areas. It was noticeably dim and very cluttered throughout, as some people worked away and some desks sat empty, waiting for their occupants to arrive later. Every desk was personalized with pictures, drawings and the occasional horse head. We walked down flights of stairs to see how the actual paper is processed and then ended our day upstairs witnessing how decisions are made in regards to what is in the public interest.
Here’s a big “Mabruk” to Professor Hatch, Professor Skrzycki, the welcoming staff at the Post- Gazette and anyone else who helped to make this memorable and valuable experience happen for all of us!