Today was day three of the tour, which began with a tour of NBC studios by Director and generous SEA supporter Brett Holey. Holey took us on a very special VIP version of the tour which excited both our students and our pages. Destiny, SquashBusters class of 2020, especially enjoyed the peek Mr. Holey gave us into the control rooms – “we never get to see the other side of the entertainment industry.” We were lucky enough to end with a bonus meeting with Lester Holt, who shared stories with us about how he got started as a reporter. He had very valuable advice for our students about maintaining intelligent debate and breaking into the news industry.
After splitting up into our small groups for lunch, we were lucky enough to tour the New York Times and engage with an all-star panel of journalists: Kathleen Kingsbury, Meeta Agrawal, Brent Staples, and Gina, a new journalist, who works in editorial for the Opinions section. The journalists spoke to us about how they remain fair, while still maintaining their humanity. Ms. Kingsbury shared, “Every journalist brings their own human emotions to [their work.]” Mr. Staples shared his experiences working as one of very few Black men in editorial work at the New York Times, stating that through his writing and editing he is “explaining the country to itself.” He also shared that “the only education is history; everything else is just training.” Finally, Ms. Agrawal shared the power an editor can have in changing the way stories are told: “My lens makes a difference. Everything you read in the paper is a choice.”
In the early evening, we toured the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Elizangi, SquashBusters class of 2020, shared the following: “The museum allowed us to experience 9/11 in a different way. I’ve only heard about it through my family and in school, but seeing the artifacts and listening to the voices of the people of their last call was overwhelming. But it’s such an important moment in a history and it’s a good thing that we’re able to see it.”
We ended the day with a group dinner and some student exploration of NYC before meeting back at the hotel to prep for our DC trip.