I got an invite to 190 Moments That Made the Guardian, an exhibition and short talk by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and exhibition curator Stephen Moss. It was up near King’s Cross, a bit of a trek for me from West London – and early evening so that I’d be travelling through the rush hour. Perhaps that explains my initial lack of enthusiasm…it just didn’t seem like a fun use of my time. But, the alternative was a couple of hours at the gym.
King’s Cross is a maze of buildings. There’s been a lot of redevelopment in this area but there’s still a complex network of roads and railway systems which makes it difficult to navigate on foot. I came out of the wrong exit and got completely lost…the only reason I was able to find my bearings was a mention in the directions of a MacDonalds, which luckily turned out to be the *right* one.
We were ushered into a large meeting room, organised in theatre style, with a projected ‘190 moments that made the guardian’ on the screen and wine and soft drinks at the back. Hurrah! free wine!!! I started to feel a lot better. The evening was introduced by Alan Rusbridger. He spoke with eloquence and passion about the Paper, the future of the newspaper industry and the impact of the Internet. His insights into some of the historical moments were fascinating and the background of what had started as ‘The Manchester Guardian’ as a result of the Peterloo massacre was a revelation for me. Stephen Moss then talked us through the exhibition in more depth. After a guardianesque question and answer session we were set free to walk around the displays.
I’ve been dipping into the articles on the website ever since. I came away from the evening astonished at the perception and insight of some of the past writers and a little embarrassed by my own ignorance. Right now The Guardian are happily adding the exhibition to a blog http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/from-the-archive-blog, and in true 21st century journo fashion, tweeting away ‘@guardianlibrary’