Media Group Seeks D.C. Memorial to Fallen Journalists

The group representing mainstream media outlets wants a memorial on federal land in Washington to honor journalists who have died while doing their service to the country. 

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The News Media Alliance represents news organizations often characterized by the President as fake and failing, but who routinely dispatch journalists to dangerous places to insure their are witnesses to history, good and bad. 

NMA said that "given increased attacks on members of the press in recent years," it is time for such a tribute. A foundation for that purpose has already been established to raise the requisite funds. 

The alliance has asked the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission*, which is meeting Tuesday (Sept. 24) to back that proposal. Various legislators have sponsored H.R.3465, the Fallen Journalists Memorial Act of 2019 (S. 1969 in the Senate), which "authorizes the Fallen Journalists Memorial Foundation to establish a commemorative work on federal land in commemoration of the sacrifices made by journalists for a free and independent press."  

The memorial would be privately funded. 

While the bill has not passed, the commission must approve of the plan before the planning process could move forward in any event. The commission will be considering that plan at Tuesday's meeting.  

“Over our nation’s history, hundreds of U.S. journalists have died doing their jobs so that the American public could stay informed on important matters of the day and world events. When a journalist is killed in the line of duty, the entire community suffers, but outside of their newsrooms, they rarely receive the recognition they deserve for their sacrifice," said NMA president and CEO David Chavern." (The Newseum in Washington has maintained a memorial to fallen journalists, but it is closing at the end of the year due to financial issues.  

"We strongly encourage the Commission to support our efforts for this memorial and recommend its establishment to the U.S. Congress," said Chavern. 

* According to the Commission it was established "to advise the Secretary of the Interior and the Administrator, General Services Administration, on policy and procedures for establishment of, and proposals to establish, commemorative works in the District of Columbia and its environs."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.