On Tuesday, July 12, the White House Historical Association hosted a group of 51 high school students at the National Center for White House History at Decatur House as part of the annual Al Neuharth Free Spirit and Journalism Conference. Facilitated by the Freedom Forum, this program aims to inspire and equip students in the nation to pursue journalism and media careers. Representing each state and the District of Columbia, these students spent the morning learning about the relationship of the press and the executive branch.
Educators from the Newseum began with an interactive lesson about the press and the presidency, focusing on the role media plays in shaping the president’s image. Bill Bushong presented an illustrated overview of the history of press at the White House. Jack Marsh, of the Freedom Forum, moderated a discussion with veteran journalists Susan Page and Carl Leubsdorf about their personal experiences in the field and were later joined by Josh Earnest, principal deputy press secretary for President Obama. After touring the White House, the students returned for a discussion with Mike McCurry about his experience as Press Secretary to President Bill Clinton.