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Home > Winter 2001


April 2001 Community College Journalist

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2001
The main hall features hands-on exhibits.
The main hall features hands-on exhibits.


Story by Cindy Bertea
Daily Titan Staff Writer
© 2000 Daily Titan

(Original date published: 03 October 2000)

A smoky odor lingers in the air while a police scanner chatters in the background.

Manual typewriters rest atop desks littered with mountains of paper, spilling over into wastebaskets nearby.

Dr. Wendell Crow (standing) and Ed Portman (seated) at the linotype machine on display.
Dr. Wendell Crow (standing) and Ed Portman (seated) at the linotype machine on display.

This recreation of a 1950s-era newsroom, and more, awaits visitors at the "Salute to Orange County Journalism" exhibit that opened Sunday in the Atrium Gallery of the Pollak Library.

Exhibit director Veronica Chiang worked feverishly during the last week to finish the display of print, television, radio and photojournalism.

She jokingly said that she caused undue stress to the project’s co-chair, College of Communications Dean Rick Pullen.

"He told me he had nightmares every night," she said.

Off the wall: An impressive 30-year span of Patrick O´Donnell´s photography.
Off the wall: An impressive 30-year span of Patrick O´Donnell´s photography.

The two spoke before a crowded room of attendees who gathered for the opening and a presentation by current and former Orange County journalists.

Pullen said, "I’ve been a little nervous, but the librarians told me to just leave her [Chiang] alone -- I was able to sleep fine the last few days."

The exhibit is a culmination of donated and borrowed works from retired journalists and area newspapers.

The model newsroom greets visitors upon entering one of the two exhibit areas.

Scott Fitzgerald, husband of Chiang and a former Cal State Fullerton drawing and printmaking professor, said reporters were interviewed to supply ideas to create an authentic setting.

"They provided a long list of what should be here, from the spilled nail polish on the secretary’s desk, to the cigarette butts," he said. "I was at the swap meet buying final details to add just this morning."

A reporter´s fashion and equipment of the day.
A reporter´s fashion and equipment of the day.

Works from photojournalist and CSUF University Photographer Patrick O’Donnell line one corner of the display.

He showcases work from his 30-plus years of photography, explaining that there is a certain element of luck to some of his images.

"It’s just being at the right place at the right time," O’Donnell said.

He worked at the Daily Pilot from 1968 to 1983, alongside colleague Bea Anderson, a writer and editor for the Costa Mesa-area publication.

Anderson said she misses the way journalism used to be.

"There was more integrity, an emphasis on balanced reporting, not so much advocacy as today," she said.

Students and professors wandering through the exhibit found it informative.

Derek LeBlond, a junior TV/film major studied a section that featured quotes from journalists past and present, finding Mark Twain’s offerings amusing.

"The exhibit has opened my eyes to journalism, showed another side to communications I haven’t really explored," he said.

Communications Professor Tony Fellow said he might bring students from his class to view the display.

"I think this will give students an idea of the living history of journalism," he said. "To understand today, we need to know what happened many years ago. That is why history is important."

History, brought to life through a variety of items on loan from the Orange County Register, never seemed so archaic.

A linotype machine the size of a small walk-in refrigerator reminds visitors that production wasn’t always accomplished by computer.

Invented by Ottmar Mergenthaler in 1896, the machine produced one line of type at a time, forming slugs of type with hot lead.

A column of type was set in 15 minutes, but computers replaced the process in 1976, reducing the time to 4.5 seconds.

The last page typeset with the linotype process is on loan from the Register, along with a roll of newsprint the size of a monster-truck tire that is used to publish the daily paper. The exhibit is open thru Feb. 25.

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