I have been to the Newseum a few times over the last two decades and to be honest it was never my favorite. But I recently gave it another try. I was nostalgic to be leaving DC, trying to see and do as much as possible, and a friend gave me a free ticket.
I don’t know if my frame of mind was better prepared or it is because I was alone, but on this visit, the museum really struck me.
“There is no more essential ingredient than a free, strong, and independent press. If we are to continue successfully in what Thomas Jefferson called our “noble experiment” in self-government.” – Ronald Reagan
What most affected me on this visit was the exhibit of past Pulitzer Prize photographs. The photos themselves are of course magnificent. But more striking, I was able to view a glimpse of events I lived through but never really saw or understood. These snapshots in time told that story.
“Journalist is the first rough draft of history.” – Philip Graham, publisher The Washington Post
The museum also has a permanent 9/11 collection and Berlin Wall display – both of which are very well done. Of course there are always special exhibits. During my recent visit there was Civil Rights at 50 and Creating Camelot. For kids (and adults) there is an interactive newsroom where you can play the role of an onscreen reporter.
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” -Benjamin Franklin
The Newseum is not affiliated with the Smithsonian and has a hefty price tag of $24.95. Even though I enjoyed the museum, that is still pricey and I would not make this a must see stop on your first (or second) trip to DC. However, if here for a while, it is probably worth the trip once. You can purchase tickets online in advance for a 15% discount.
However, even if take my advice and don’t go, I would recommend walking by it if in the area. Outside each day they hang the front page of newspapers from around the country and the world. It is fascinating to observe the differences and similarities.