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Newseum Opening Attracts Crowds

April 14, 2008 02:54 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
After seven years of planning and construction, the $450 million monument to U.S. journalism and press freedoms brought in 10,854 visitors on its first day.

30-Second Summary

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The Newseum opened Friday in what CNN described as an “ultramodern glass building” located on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“It’s fantastic, even though I’ve been a correspondent for seven years, there are so many things that I hadn’t seen,” Shelly Wang, Chinese correspondent for a Beijing-based news agency, told the American Observer. “I think through this museum I can also take a general look, an overview of the history, the current state of things and also the future.”

Others questioned the utility of the expensive project, especially as traditional journalism struggles to adapt to changes in the media  brought about by the Internet.

“We’re living in an era where Americans have less respect for the news media than ever,” said gossip blog Jossip. “Even those inside the industry are questioning its values—as they stare at pink slips and moving boxes. So how to reinvigorate this country’s interest in our industry’s storied past? By spending $450 million on the Newseum, the just-opened Washington D.C. ode to our self-importance.”

Slate columnist Jack Shafer said that he would skip the museum’s opening, calling the project a “gilded disaster.”

“I want the Freedom Forum to sell off their monument valley installation and use the proceeds to actually support journalism. Like endowing a newspaper, for instance,” Shafer said.

The Newseum was sponsored by major news organizations and features attractions such as a piece of the Berlin Wall, an interactive newsroom, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs and a world news exhibit. The admission fee is $20 for adults.

Headline Links: Newseum opens to acclaim and criticism

Related Topics: New media exhibit and ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’

Key Player: ‘The Rewrite Man’

Opinion & Analysis: Global reaction, 10,854 visitors and Jack Shafer’s boycott

Reference: The Interactive Museum of News

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