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What Is the Purpose of the Roundup Department?
HNN originally was conceived as primarily a national platform for historians wishing to comment on current events. This remains our primary function as is evident on our homepage, where week after week historians write about news subjects within their area of expertise.
But as the website evolved we added various features that we thought our readers would find interesting and useful. The most popular feature has turned out to be ROUNDUP, which includes excerpts from the media about various issues related in some way to history.
We don't vouch for the accuracy or scholarship of the excerpts. We simply reprint them. The purpose is to give readers in one handy place a broad sampling of American (and indeed world) opinion. In effect, we turn every reader into his own Walt Whitman, strolling through the alleys of the Internet to see what strange and wonderful and often ugly things the world has to offer. Everyman his own journalist, to paraphrase Carl Becker.
But even the ugly?
Walter Lippman in the 1920s pointed out that journalism is about creating pictures in our minds of what the real world is like, a most difficult task. How much more difficult, indeed impossible, it is to attain that goal if we blind ourselves to sights that make us shudder or shrink in horror.
At the same time we do not publish the views of Holocaust Deniers in Roundup--or authors who take similarly extreme positions. Including them in Roundup would indirectly give them a credence they do not deserve. We do of course from time to time run articles, excerpts and news stories about people who hold obnoxious views like Holocaust Deniers.
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