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In Focus: Trip to Newseum reaffirms importance of journalism for photographer

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Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Before the holidays got too hectic, my mother and I decided to take a small trip together since we both scheduled the same week of vacation earlier this month.

The two of us went to New York City one summer a few years back, and my mom fell in love with it.

She was set on going there again, only this time to shop for Christmas gifts and to see the city decorated for the holidays. Those plans ended up falling flat after we couldn't find a decent hotel in our price range.

We ended up deciding on Washington, D.C., instead. It is relatively close and I had only been there once briefly to catch a Penguins-Washington Capitals game — never to explore the city.

My parents lived nearby when my dad was in the Air Force, but my mom hadn't been back since before I was born.

Over the span of our three-day visit, I had only one request — that we visit the Newseum, a 250,000-square-foot interactive museum dedicated to news and journalism.

I was convinced my mom would be bored there, but the exhibits marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Kennedy Family History quickly drew her in. She also, to my surprise, found many of the other theaters and exhibits (well, maybe not the temporary “Anchorman” display) to be interesting, including the 9/11 Gallery that brought us both to tears.

My personal favorite was the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery.

While I knew I would enjoy the Newseum, I left there that day with an unexpected feeling.

Looking through all of the important news stories and photographs in history really validated my career choice and made me feel as though I was part of something big and amazing.

It reaffirmed for me the importance of our jobs as journalists and photojournalists and how important stories and powerful images can be found anywhere.

Kristina Serafini is a photographer and staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1405 or

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