Newseum: An Unique Museum Experience

By Kristy L.

From the outside, the Newseum looks almost like any other building in Washington, DC, but on the inside, it’s a completely different story. As you step inside it all hits you at once and your eyes take a moment to adjust. This isn’t just any other museum. An electric banner runs across the side of the wall, delivering news from all around the world. On the side there is an operating glass elevator taking visitors up and down to different levels of the building. As you look up you see the six floors of worlds for you to explore surrounding the center in a circular formation and a gigantic television screen that displays images next to a helicopter that seems to soar above. This is the Newseum.

The Newseum, located in Washington, DC, is home to some of the greatest interactive technology invented.  The museum is mainly focused on the press and events around the world. Visitors can explore and interact with all sorts of exhibits and computers. Each exhibit is entirely unique because it offers up to date information from all around the world. Every morning, daily newspapers from countries around the world are faxed to the museum and posted in a gallery. This way, the museum is filled with up to date news all the time.

The museum expresses the first amendment very clearly. In fact, on the outside of the building there is a seventy-four foot tall marble tablet with the text of the first amendment printed on it. It also focuses on how people in many countries do not have the freedom to print and publish what they feel is important.

There are electronic games and other interactive activities all around the museum, allowing people to learn even more while having fun.

There are many interactive electronic games for kids, but the real star of the show is the “Be a TV Reporter” interactive newsroom. People can pick their scene and the script and step in front of a camera, teleprompter and all. The green-screen behind shows a picture of a location in Washington, DC and you can become a news reporter yourself!

You read the script off the teleprompter while holding a microphone, and you are suddenly a news reporter! If being a TV reporter is not enough, you can see a real news reporter in one of the live television and radio studios in the museum. These are real broadcasts, and ABC’s “This Week”, which airs Sunday mornings, is recorded there.

By reading historic headlines, visitors can learn about historic events in the United States and around the world. The history of the press and how it has evolved over time is also strong represented. The museum shows how new inventions and technology such as televisions and the internet has stretched the freedom of press and spread news quicker and easier. The importance of the press in activities such as political campaigns is also expressed because newspapers, magazines, and the internet now play a very active role in campaigns.

The importance of journalists and news reporters is also a large part of this museum. Around the world, many journalists and news reporters have been imprisoned and even killed for uncovering the truth or expressing how they really feel about a situation. During times of war, news reporters often arrive at the scene of battle to film what is unraveling as people sit at home wanting to catch a glimpse of what is really happening out there.

News reporters also travel to dangerous places in hopes of uncovering the truth and letting people know what is going on. Many have died while trying to do so, and the Newseum has a memorial to commemorate the news reporters and journalists who have died while trying to reveal what is actually occurring in the world.

One of the most amazing objects in the Newseum is their exhibit on the Berlin Wall. The museum actually has eight sections of the wall and an East German guard tower. Visitors can actually see a part of history right before their eyes.

To top it all off, the museum has a spectacular view of the nation’s capitol. Once you step out onto the terrace on the sixth floor, you have a panoramic view of the city and the Capitol. It’s almost a perfect view because the two buildings are so close to each other.

The Newseum is a very unique museum with so much to offer, so if you ever travel Washington, DC, the Newseum is a wonderful place to visit and spend your day.

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