Why You Should Visit the Newseum Before it Closes

The Newseum, a Washington, DC museum featuring exhibits on the history of news and journalism, announced it will be permanently closing on December 31. The museum cites financial struggles as the main reason for its end.

So with only three months left, why should you visit? Located on Pennsylvania Avenue with a stunning view of the Capitol Building, the Newseum has been a staple for tourists of the city for years. I went last weekend to visit one last time, and took note of some of its best features.

The Newseum currently has twenty-two exhibits, although some are much larger than others. The museum guides visitors down to the underground level to start, then up a glass elevator to the sixth floor, so visitors make their way through the exhibits down to the first floor where they started.

The 9/11 Gallery is the most impactful exhibit to me. It features a large section of the North Tower’s antenna, which now looks more like scrap metal, a video and artifacts from a photojournalist who lost his life taking pictures as the event unfolded, and headlines from dozens of newspapers that were published the next day.

“[T]heir headlines still scream,” Sopan Deb of The New York Times wrote.

Being from a town right outside New York myself and a journalism major, this exhibit is particularly memorable. September 11 is an event all aspiring journalists should learn about, as it is one of the biggest stories in recent history.

The Newseum also features historical artifacts like a large portion of the Berlin Wall, weapons from infamous crimes all over the country, and a huge collection of newspapers dating back as early as 1493. These artifacts and exhibits show the large role of the news in our everyday lives.

There is also a large emphasis on the importance of the First Amendment throughout the entire museum, especially in the Cox First Amendment Gallery which houses artifacts and interactive elements about the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, and petition. In a time where "fake news" is prevalent and the president has nicknamed American media “The Corrupt Media” on Twitter, being reminded of the importance of a free press is more and more important.

The building that currently hosts the Newseum will be bought by Johns Hopkins University for a DC-based graduate program. Don’t worry though; the Freedom Forum, the creator of the Newseum, will still continue its “educational efforts” through public programs all over the United States.

The Newseum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is $24.95, but students can receive a 15% discount with a school ID. Tickets purchased online ahead of time are also discounted. Each ticket grants admission for two days.

 

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