August 05, 2001

The Newseum will mark National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) with a series of free public programs featuring prominent Hispanic journalists and newsmakers. Television anchors Elizabeth Vargas and Maria Elena Salinas, television correspondent Ray Suarez, columnist Marcela Sanchez and photojournalist Alan Diaz are scheduled to participate in the month-long commemoration at the interactive museum of news.

The influence of Hispanics on the world of news can be seen throughout the Newseum. Featured in the News History Gallery are such Hispanic news pioneers as Don Carlos de Siguenza y Gongora and Pedro Gonzalez. Siguenza y Gongora produced the first regularly published news periodical in the Americas, Mercurio Volante. Gonzalez was a Depression-era radio pioneer who spoke out against the deportation of Mexican workers from the United States on his Spanish-language show. Visitors to the Newseum also can view historic editions of Spanish-language newspapers, as well as read online versions of current
Spanish-language papers from around the world. Also available are a Spanish-language audio tour of the News History Gallery, free Spanish-language visitors' guides and free "Hispanic History at the Newseum" information cards.

In addition, Freedom Park, adjacent to the Newseum, features a replica of a tin kayak used in 1966 by two Cuban refugees to flee their communist country in search of freedom in the United States. Also in Freedom Park is The Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial, which honors journalists who died while reporting the news. Among the names inscribed on the memorial are such Hispanic journalists as Jairo Elias Marquez (1958-1998), editor of the Colombian monthly newsmagazine El
Marques; Jose Carlos Mesquita (1958-1998), Brazilian news anchor for TV Ouro Verde's the "Espaco Aberto" show; and Ricardo Gangeme (1943-1999), publisher and editor of his Patagonian weekly newspaper El Informador Chubutense.

Schedule of Newseum Hispanic Heritage Month programs:

Saturday, Sept. 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Family Day: Hispanic Heritage -- Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month with storyteller Elena Velasco, who brings Latin American folk tales to life for young visitors. Other activities for families include hands-on activities in the Newseum's Education Center and Newsmania, the Newseum's fast-paced current-events game show.

Sunday, Sept. 23, 3 p.m., Inside Media: Elizabeth Vargas -- ABC News correspondent and anchor Elizabeth Vargas talks about her investigative reports for "20/20" and news coverage of issues relating to the Hispanic community.

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m., Town Hall Meeting -- As part of a special town hall meeting in the Newseum's Broadcast Studio, Jimmy Smits, Elizabeth Vargas, Esai Morales and Dorothy Gilliam discuss how Hispanics are portrayed in the media. Newseum visitors will be able to watch the program as it is simulcast on the Newseum's 126-foot-long Video News Wall and in the Newseum Theater.

Sunday, Sept. 30, 3 p.m., Inside Media: Alan Diaz -- Associated Press photographer Alan Diaz won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography for his photo of Elian Gonzalez being seized by federal agents during a raid on the home of the boy's Miami relatives. Diaz will discuss coverage of the Gonzalez case and the impact of photography on public opinion.

Saturday, Oct. 6, 2:30 p.m., Inside Media: Maria Elena Salinas -- Maria Elena Salinas is the co-anchor of the popular nightly newscast Notieciero Univision and is one of the most familiar faces in America's Spanish-speaking households. Salinas, who has been with Univision for 20 years, discusses her career and coverage of Latin America.

Sunday, Oct. 7, 3 p.m., Inside Media: Marcela Sanchez -- Washingtonpost.com columnist Marcela Sanchez talks about news coverage of Latin America and the increasing number of Hispanics working in newspaper newsrooms. In addition to her online column, "Desde Washington," she also reports on issues of interest to Spanish-speaking audiences every day at 6 and 11 p.m. on the Univision TV network's local news broadcast, Noticias 30.

Sunday, Oct. 14, 3 p.m., Inside Media: Ray Suarez -- Ray Suarez, senior correspondent for "The NewsHour With Jim Lehrer" discusses the NewsHour's approach to covering news and shares his views on diversity in the newsroom. Suarez, who has been in the news business for 25 years, came to the NewsHour from National Public Radio, where he had been host of "Talk of the Nation," since 1993.

Also during Hispanic Heritage Month, visitors can participate in Spanish-language tours of the Newseum's state-of-the-art Broadcast Studio at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 and 28 and Oct. 5.

The Newseum, the interactive museum of news, takes visitors behind the scenes to see and experience how and why news is made. Visitors can be reporters or television newscasters; relive the great news stories of all time through multimedia exhibits, artifacts and news memorabilia; and see today's news as it happens on a block-long video news wall.

The Newseum is funded by The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan, international foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. The Newseum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's days. Admission is free.

For more information at http://www.newseum.org.

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