Around DC: Inside the New Newseum
One of the real treats about living in DC is the fact that there is always something new opening up around the city. Whether that be a new exhibit, or even a new museum, there is almost always something to do and/or check out.
Unfortunately, since I moved here in February of 2007, I haven’t taken as much advantage of the “touristy” attractions in the city as I would have liked, however this past weekend I was invited to check out the new Newseum, located on 5th and Pennsylvania a few weeks before it officially opened.
Right off the back, I strongly urge any and every blogger who is interested in learning more about how the media has progressed over the years and where it is going, to make the Newseum a stop the next time they are in DC.
The Newseum has 6 floors packed with hands-on exhibits, incredible archives and a handful of theaters, including a 4-D theater that in less than 10 minutes gives an extremely impressive depiction of how important the media has been in shaping our lives and more importantly, our country. The additional dimension makes it even more enjoyable for even those who are usually hard to please (like myself).
Even though the theaters were impressive, the one exhibit that I enjoyed the most was News Corporation’s “News History Gallery,” which had original copies of newspapers chronicling some of the most important events to happen in the history of the United States, dating all the way back to the 1700’s. It’s quite impressive to see how even in the last 10 years, newspapers have significantly evolved, but it’s even more impressive to see the evolution over the last 300 years.
Another exciting feature that the Newseum has is an incredibly large series of sections from the Berlin Wall. Unlike most museums, you could actually get up close to the wall, take pictures and examine the messages, which were surprisingly all in English. Aside from the Berlin Wall, the Newseum also has a 3 story guard tower that visitors can step into.
Finally, one of the more somber parts of the Newseum was their 9/11 gallery, which includes what appeared to be a large sculpture which was originally a 40? section of the broadcast antenna that was atop World Trade Center Tower 1 (thanks to DHH for the clarification), and along the walls are hundreds of newspapers from across the globe with their headlines from that day. Even though I’ve seen most of those front pages online previously, seeing them again takes you back in time to wherever you were when you first heard about the attacks. It’s definitely a powerful exhibit. Rightfully so, there is no photography allowed in this part of the Newseum.
I definitely recommend the Newseum to anyone who is interested in the media, it’s history and more importantly, its future.
The links below are some additional pictures I took at the Newseum (on each page, click image to view full-size image).