Location: Washington, DC
Cost: Adults $22.95, Youth (7-18) $13.95, Children (6 and younger) Free. Tickets are good for two consecutive days.
Stay Length: Expect to spend a minimum of 2 hours to most of a day.
Season: Open year round.
Food Services: Fine dining, self-service dining and cafe options available.
Age Range: A minimum of 6 years old – probably best suited for kids 10 and older. Some of the content may be scary for young kids.
Parking and Transit: The Newseum has a pay parking lot. It is also walking distance from a few Metro Stations and the National Mall.
The Newseum is a museum of news and journalism. It’s stated mission is to champion the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the US Constition:
- Freedom of Religion.
- Freedom of Speech.
- Freedom of the Press.
- Freedom to Assemble Peaceably.
- Freedom to Petition the Government for a Redress of Grievances
Their exhibits and displays explore these topics in a variety of ways. The above map is updated annually and shows the level of ‘freedom of the press’ around the world.
Other exhibits look at the risks undertaken by journalists. Don Bolles’ was murdered in a car bombing due to his investigative journalism.
The journalists in this armored pickup truck was attacked in the Yugoslavian civil war (the black marks are fragment damage to the vehicle).
Ideas about the place of the press in society are also explored. The door from the watergate break-in is on exhibit at this display on the press as ‘watchdogs’ or ‘muckrakers’.
The changes technology and how the news is collected and disseminated is also a big theme.
The museum also makes an effort to be current including displays on apps and social media. There is also areas inside and outside the museum with today’s front page from various newspapers.
The museum contains many different galleries and exhibits some permanent and some temporary or travelling.
The Berlin Wall Gallery
The first part of the tour is a piece of the Berlin Wall
And a ‘Death Tower’.
It’s really striking to see the difference between the West side of the wall which is covered in graffiti and the East side which has almost none.
The 9/11 gallery has front pages from the day after 9/11.
As well as a communications antenna from one of the world trade center towers.
News History Gallery
In the News History Gallery they have historic front pages from newspapers beginning in 1455 to the present.
Internet, TV and Radio Gallery
The internet, TV and radio gallery chronicles the changes in technology over time and how that changes how the news of the day was presented using important news stories.
Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery
The Pullitzer prize winning photographs gallery is impressive but many of the photos are not kid friendly in their subject matter.
The interactive newsroom is primarily aimed at school-aged kids. There are individual touch-screen you can use to create a newspaper front page story. There are also Be a TV Reporter stations where you can see what it is like to be a reporter yourself.
Admission to the Newseum is valid for two consecutive days making it so I was able to see most of the museum even though I was busy during most of the day. If you have an interest in journalism or politics or have school-aged kids you will find this museum really interesting, however you may need to consider some of the content if you have younger children.
Stephen has a day job that is way less fun than writing about museumss, is the dad of the Calgary Playground Review kids (Gordie, Nicky and Robbie) and occasional Calgary Playground Review contributor.