Contact: Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940

November 28, 1994

Traveling Exhibition Sheds Light on "The Paradox of the Press"

"The Paradox of the Press," a Library of Congress traveling exhibition that explores some of the fundamental questions related to a free press, opens Feb. 11 at Grinnell College, Iowa. Developed by the Library's Interpretive Programs Office in cooperation with the Newspaper Association of America Foundation and the Library of Congress Center for the Book, "The Paradox of the Press" is based on an exhibition, "The American Journalist: Paradox of the Press," presented at the Library of Congress in 1990.

Today, more than ever, the role of the press in a free society arouses much public debate. While everyone agrees that a free press is essential to a functioning democracy, critics cannot agree on how journalists should position themselves. The press is alternately accused of being liberal or conservative, too powerful or ineffectual. The paradoxes of the press raise issues central to the freedom of expression. What is the right to privacy versus the public's right to know? Is news reported or created? Do circulation and ratings govern news reports? Has the line between hard news and entertainment become unalterably blurred?

These are some of the questions examined in "The Paradox of the Press." The exhibition includes contemporary and historical news accounts and provocative visuals drawn from the comprehensive collections of the Library. Using commentary and questions, the material displayed encourages visitors to form their own answers to these questions.

Following is the schedule for the traveling exhibition in 1995-1996:

  • Feb. 11 - March 26, 1995 Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa
  • June 17 - July 30, 1995 Guam Humanities Council, Guam
  • Aug. 19 - Oct. 1, 1995 Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Oct. 21 - Dec. 3, 1995 Pennsylvania State University at Hazelton Library, Hazelton, Pa.
  • Feb. 24 - April 7, 1996 Ohio Humanities Council, Columbus, Ohio
  • April 27 - June 9, 1996 Montana State University, Billings, Mont.
  • Nov. 2 - Dec. 15, 1996 Marian College, Fond Du Lac, Wis.

Through its traveling exhibition program, the Library of Congress shares the richness of its collections -- now numbering more than 105 million items -- with other libraries and cultural institutions around the nation to reach even wider and more varied audiences.

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PR 94-172
ISSN 0731-3527

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