Best and worst of this week’s headlines

A public health professor’s report ranked as one of the best pieces of research in 2019, while the District deals with the devastating closure of the Newseum.

Here’s the best and worst of this week’s headlines:

Thumbs Up:

William Dietz, a professor of public health, contributed to a report that was called one of the “most discussed” works of 2019 by Almetric, a company that tracks online mentions of research articles. The report focuses on outlining solutions to obesity, undernutrition and climate change.

Increasing GW’s exposure as a top research institution increases its value and validity in the academic community. University President Thomas LeBlanc has aspired for GW to increase its research profile since he stepped in a couple years back, and the report is a step toward reaching his goals.

Increasing the University’s reputation for reputable research may also attract more students who want to contribute to research with knowledgable professors. The professor’s accolade should be a selling point for students and potential new faculty who want to pursue their own research at the University. The University should recognize its accomplishments in research to demonstrate its commitment to producing sound studies.

Thumbs Down:

After 11 years of service, the beloved Newseum has closed its doors forever on New Year’s Day.

The museum was home to historical artifacts like the antenna from the World Trade Center’s North Tower, the door that was broken into during the Watergate burglary, pieces of the Berlin Wall and the remains of four news photographers who were killed during the Vietnam War. Although some of those pieces will still be kept elsewhere, the museum was a space for patrons to see the generations of journalistic work and understand the impact of journalism throughout history.

Students majoring in journalism or political communication have worried that losing the Newseum is a blow to a field that already struggles with distrust toward news media. They are right – the Newseum is a place where people could learn to respect those who have held important people accountable for generations. It is more vital than ever before that people understand and appreciate those who have dedicated their lives to protecting democracy and revealing the truth.

The Newseum inspired countless journalists and served as a memorial and reminder for the generations of journalists that came before. It will be sincerely missed.

Hannah Thacker, a sophomore majoring in political communication, is The Hatchet’s contributing opinions editor.

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