Student interns from Voices of September 11th traveled to the New York City offices of CBS News on August 6th to learn firsthand about the challenge of reporting on the 9/11 attacks. The interviewees included New Canaan resident Jeff Fager, Chairman of CBS News and Executive Editor for "60 Minutes," Jim Axelrod, Anchorman and Correspondent for CBS News; Bill Owens, Executive Editor for "60 Minutes;" and Tom Anderson, Producer for "60 Minutes." The journalists were interviewed about their personal and professional reporting on September 11, 2001. Jim Axelrod discussed the challenges of reporting during such an emotional and difficult time: "A successful journalist must take whatever those very natural, overwhelming emotions are and put them on a shelf somewhere...because right now my job is to let all those people who are relying on CBS News for information...know what it is that I know."
The students are participating in a program that is now in its fourth year at the New Canaan office of Voices of September 11th. The Community Response Project, sponsored by the New Canaan Community Foundation and the Young Women's League, gives high school students the opportunity to learn about the local response on 9/11 and to share their learning with their community and classmates. The research conducted will also be included in the 9/11 Living Memorial project, an online digital archive that commemorates the almost 3,000 lives lost on 9/11, and tells the personal stories of victims, survivors and rescue workers. This internship program is becoming increasingly impactful as many of the younger students have no recollection of September 11th, 2001. In addition to the CBS News journalists, the students were also able to interview John Kovach, former editor of the New Canaan Advertiser, and Ray Hoffman, a prominent financial journalist.
A presentation of their findings will be held at the New Canaan Library on August 27th at 6:00 PM. It will include a video presentation of the interviews as well as a discussion of how 9/11 still impacts out communities today. The student interns: Lily Kazemi, Mary-Louise Taylor, Juan Pablo Rivera, Courtney Blaylock, Samuel Kramer and Madison Yancy invite the public to attend this free event where refreshments will be served. The interns will also present for their fellow students at New Canaan High School during a 9/11 assembly lead by the chairman of the NCHS History Department, Richard Webb.
The 2013 interns at CBS Studios, from left to right: Courtney Blaylock, Madison Yancy, Lily Kazemi, Mary-Louise Taylor, Samuel Kramer, Juan Pablo Rivera and Elizabeth Emerson.