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Welcome to the Newseum

Updated on July 13, 2009
Photo © Sam Kittner/Newseum
Photo © Sam Kittner/Newseum

The Newseum was introduced to Washington, D.C. on April 11, 2008. On that day alone, over 10,000 visitors came out to show their support for the new, glass monstrosity towering over Pennsylvania Avenue, with the marble plaque of the First Amendment hanging from its facade. But over a year later, people still walk through the Newseum's front doors wondering two things: 1) what is this place and 2) where do I start?!?

Newseum's First Visitor Talks About His Experience

So What Is It??

Well, simply put, the Newseum is the world's most interactive museum of news. It chronicles news from the beginning of print, to today, all while focusing on the five freedoms guaranteed to every American, by the First Amendment. It is Washington, DC's newest "must-see" attraction. The Newseum has 15 theaters, 14 galleries, a 4D "time travel" adventure, an Interactive News Room where one can "Be a TV Reporter," and 3 of the world's largest, glass, hydraulic elevators. It is a place where one can relive some of the most prominent events in our history.

For a brief virtual tour, click here.

There is something at the Newseum for everyone. For the up and coming photographer/photojournalist, there is the Pulitzer Prize Photo exhibit, where one can find every Pulitzer winning photo in the history of the award, and interviews from the photographers themselves. For the newspaper aficionado, there is the News History Gallery. Here the visitor can read authentic newspapers, dating back to the 1400's. The Internet, TV, and Radio gallery lets visitors relive some of the first radio and television news broadcasts, with Edward R. Murrow and David Brinkley and Chet Huntley. For the younger generation, the Newseum's Interactive News Room will provide plenty of entertainment. Guests can "be a TV reporter", an investigative journalist, or even a photojournalist. Visitors will also be able to test their ethics skills, in the Ethics Lab (also located in the Interactive News Room). And for guests of all ages, the Newseum has a 4D time travel adventure, where the visitor follows three pioneers in journalism.

Aside from the various galleries, the Newseum also has weekly programs in its two Knight TV Studios. George Stephanopolous hosts This Week with George Stephanopoulos from their Pennsylvania Avenue studio, while the Newseum hosts weekly Inside Media programs for the public, with various authors, journalists, radio personalities, criminal investigators, etc. from its second studio.

After hours, the Newseum is also the home of galas, balls, dinners, and even movie premieres. Some noteworthy events held at the Newseum were the Huffington Post's presidential celebration, a 2008 Black Caucus event, So Others May Eat silent auction, The Secret Life of the Bees movie premiere, along with Disney's Up and Wall*E movie premieres.

But the Newseum is deeper than just old news clippings, new technology, and star studded events- it is a place where one can learn how the news directly correlates to our daily lives. It shows us the importance of having a free press and of living in a democratic society. The Newseum helps people remember what our ancestors fought for- the abolishment of slavery, the women's suffrage movement, the civil rights movement. It reminds the future generations that with things like citizen journalism and blogging, they are writing the first draft of history. The Newseum is a place that hopefully will inspire.

There is so much more to the Newseum than words are truly able to express. The only way to fully understand it, is to visit- just remember to leave your prejudices and biases at the door, as this place is sure to inspire deeper thinking.

© Maria Bryk/Newseum
© Maria Bryk/Newseum
© Maria Bryk/Newseum
© Maria Bryk/Newseum

Newseum Must Sees

  • 4D Time Travel Adventure (Annenberg Theater)
  • The Pulitzer Prize Photos (Level One)
  • The First Amendment Gallery (Level Four)
  • The 9/11 Gallery (Level Four)
  • The News History Gallery (Level Five)
  • The Pennsylvania Avenue Terrace (Level Six)
  • FOTOBAMA (Level Six- only on display through early September 2009)



 


What Should I Know Before I Plan My Visit?

  • This is not a free museum- general admission is $20; ages 7-18 are $13; and children 6 and under are free.
  • The Cafe, which serves cold wraps, salads, coffee, and tea, is open from 11am-4pm daily. The Food Section, which serves hot entrees, is open Thursday-Sunday from 11am-3pm.
  • The Newseum offers some discounts (AAA, student, teachers, journalists, etc.) but it is up to the visitor to ask when purchasing their tickets.
  • Visitors wanting to see the store only, may do so without paying, but must first stop at the Admissions Desk.
  • All visitors MUST go through a security screening.
  • The Newseum does NOT have parking. There are several parking garages surrounding the building, with costs ranging anywhere from $16-20 (daily rate).
  • The Newseum can be reached via Metro. It is at the Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter stop on the Yellow/Green lines. It can also be reached via Judiciary Square on the Red line, or Federal Triangle on the Orange line.
  • There is no outside food or drink permitted in the Newseum. Visitors have the option of dining in Wolfgang Puck's The Food Section or leaving the building for lunch and then returning.
  • The Newseum's hours are 9am-5pm daily. The Newseum is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
  • The Newseum recommends AT LEAST 2 hours to fully enjoy oneself, even then, many find that that is STILL not enough time to see everything.
  • The Newseum offers complimentary Coat Check at two locations.
  • The Newseum offers wheel-chairs and mobility scooters on a first come-first served basis at both Coat Checks, with a Photo-ID.
  • Newseum staff can be easily identified. They have green polo shirts and khaki pants.
  • Visitors are allowed to take pictures, although in certain galleries flash photography is NOT allowed (there are signs designating which areas those are).

The Newseum is located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Washignton, DC. 20001. For more information, visit their website.

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    • BeautySpeaks profile image
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      BeautySpeaks 5 years ago from Prince Georges County, Maryland

      I know it doesn't matter now, but it honestly depends on what type of museum visitor you are. If you're the type to read everything, then you'll need the 2 days that come with the ticket. But the average person can get through in about 2-3 hours.

    • profile image

      Stacy 7 years ago

      how long does it usually take to go through the whole museum?

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