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Newseum closes doors in Washington, D.C. after 11 years

The 11 year old museum dedicated to journalism has closed.


The Newseum in Washington, D.C. closed its doors on Pennsylvania Avenue on December 31, 2019, after 11 years and nearly 10 million visitors.The Freedom Forum said that operating the attraction was financially unstable.

As the name suggests, the Newseum is dedicated to journalism and was the brainchild of the Freedom Forum and USA TODAY founder Al Neuharth.

The innovative and interactive Newseum and the Freedom Forum highlighted the five freedoms of the First Amendment – religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.

The Freedom Forum has entered into an agreement to sell the building to Johns Hopkins University. Meanwhile, the Freedom Forum will move to temporary offices in downtown Washington D.C.

Newseum being sold to Johns Hopkins University

In a tweet, the Newseum wrote: “After more than 11 years and nearly 10 million visitors, we want to say thank you to everyone who has visited.

“You made the Newseum extraordinary. Thank you. Thank you and goodnight.”

The Newseum hopes to find a suitable location for its next home, but says that process will take time. Last year, Time magazine named the museum one of the “world’s greatest places”.

“We’re proud of how we did our storytelling,” Newseum spokesperson Sonya Gavankar told the Associated Press. “We changed the model of how museums did their work.”

Museum looking for suitable location for new home

The first Newseum was located in Rosslyn, Virginia. After five years, it moved to Pennsylvania Avenue and opened on April 11, 2008 with 15 galleries, 15 theatres, and two state-of-the-art TV studios.

Exhibits included the 9/11 and Berlin Wall galleries, as well as the Pulitzer Prize photographs gallery. More than 60 changing exhibits explored topics such as the FBI and the press.

They also looked at news coverage of Hurricane Katrina, early photographs of John F Kennedy and press coverage of his 1963 assassination.

In addition, the Newseum housed coverage of the civil rights movement, Stonewall and the rise of the LGBTQ rights movement.

More exhibits focused on pop culture and the news media, including ‘Anchorman: The Exhibit’ and ‘Seriously Funny: From the Desk of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’.

Elsewhere, TIME Studios is launching an immersive exhibit called ‘The March’ at the DuSable Museum of African American History in 2020.

The experiential project takes guests on a virtual reality (VR) journey, bringing to life the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, as well as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.‘s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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