About the Newseum
The Newseum — a 250,000-square-foot museum of news — offers visitors an experience that blends five centuries of news history with up-to-the-second technology and hands-on exhibits.
The Newseum is located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., on America's Main Street between the White House and the U.S. Capitol and adjacent to the Smithsonian museums on the National Mall.
The Newseum features seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. It offers a unique environment that takes museum-goers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.
Galleries and Exhibits
The Newseum features 15 main exhibition galleries exploring news history, electronic news, photojournalism, world news and how the media have covered major historical events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
News Corporation News History Gallery. The Newseum's largest gallery — built around the museum's collection of more than 30,000 historic newspapers — traces more than 500 years of news and includes five theaters that explore specific themes.
Cox Enterprises First Amendment Gallery. Through interactives, artifacts and exhibits, this gallery dramatically establishes the modern-day relevance of the five freedoms — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — guaranteed by the First Amendment.
Time Warner World News Gallery. Visitors can watch television news and compare press freedoms in more than 190 countries. A major storyline of this gallery is the dangers reporters face around the globe while reporting the news. Dramatic icons — including a bullet-riddled, armor-reinforced pickup truck used by reporters and photographers in the Balkans — illustrate the dangerous conditions in which journalists often work.
Bloomberg Internet, TV and Radio Gallery. Devoted to the history of electronic news, this gallery features a timeline tracing milestones in the growth of radio, television and Internet news; an exhibit on newsman Edward R. Murrow; a digital news center that looks at how technology transforms journalism, "citizen journalists," convergent newsrooms and mobile journalists; the theater screens "A Lighter Look at the News," featuring clips from the John Stewart Show, Colbert Report, and late night television with Jay Leno and David Letterman.
Today's Front Pages. Visitors can see 80 newspaper front pages from around the world, enlarged and updated daily, and have electronic access to more than 800 front pages. The adjacent terrace features an exhibit on the history of Pennsylvania Avenue and offers an unparalleled view of the U.S. Capitol building.
Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery. This gallery contains the largest and most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalism ever assembled. Visitors can view a Newseum documentary in which photographers explain their craft and can access an electronic database that will feature 1,000 images and 15 hours of video and audio compiled from interviews with 68 Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers.
Comcast 9/11 Gallery. Perhaps the first permanent museum exhibit devoted to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, this gallery looks at how the media — in New York and Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon and around the world — responded to one of the biggest news stories of the century, through Sept. 12 front pages, artifacts and a Newseum documentary that features journalists' accounts of their reactions that day.
Berlin Wall. Featuring one of the largest collections of original Berlin Wall sections outside of Germany, this gallery examines the role of the media in the 30-year history of the wall.
Journalists Memorial. The Journalists Memorial is a sweeping, two-story glass structure that includes 2,007 names of journalists who died while reporting the news from 1837 — Elijah Parish Lovejoy of The Alton (Ill.) Observer — through 2009. Each year, the Newseum will rededicate the memorial, adding the names of journalists who died on the job during the previous year.
ABC News Changing Exhibits Gallery. This gallery explores a wide range of media issues with displays on breaking news, media trends, news-event anniversaries and top photography. The Newseum's first major changing exhibit, "G-Men and Journalists: Top News Stories of the FBI's First Century," features some of the biggest cases — and dramatic evidence — from the FBI's first 100 years, including the Unabomber's cabin, John Dillinger's death mask and the electric chair in which convicted Lindbergh baby kidnapper Bruno Hauptmann was executed. The exhibit will be on display through December 2010.
Pulliam Family Great Books Gallery. This gallery features books and documents that help illustrate and illuminate the origins of freedom of the press. The oldest of the 19 works dates back more than 500 years to a 1475 printing of Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologica," a masterpiece that fused philosophy and theology. Other great works on display include a 1542 printing of the Magna Carta, Thomas Paine's "Common Sense," and a 1787 first pamphlet printing of the U.S. Constitution. The documents are preserved in low light, but sections of each are readable on interactive monitors through state-of-the-art page-turning software. The materials are on loan from the Remnant Trust.
HP New Media Gallery. Considered a 3-D social network, this 2,500-square-foot gallery contains the latest in digital technology to place visitors at the center of the news revolution. Interactive experiences illustrate the evolution and progression of global media.
NBC News Interactive Newsroom. In this 7,000-square-foot interactive gallery, visitors can select any of 48 interactive kiosks or experiences where they can immerse themselves in the many roles — photojournalist, editor, reporter, anchor — required to bring the news to the public. The gallery features eight "Be a TV Reporter" stations that allow visitors to choose from a variety of video backdrops, take their place in front of the screen, read their report from a TelePrompter and see themselves in action.
The Bancroft Family Ethics Center. The centerpiece of the Ethics Center is the Ethics Table, a unique "group interactive experience" that challenges two teams of players to correctly answer a series of ethical questions and be the first to fill in the front page of their team's newspaper.
Studios and Theaters
The Newseum is one of the most technologically advanced museums in the world. The Newseum ordered 100 miles of fiber-optic cable to link up-to-the-second technologies that include electronic signage and interactive kiosks, two broadcast studios, 15 theaters and a 40-by-22-foot high-resolution media screen.
Knight Studio and the Knight Studio on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Knight Studio features cameras, monitors, lights and connectivity well beyond the industry standard and can be used for public affairs and news programs by major television networks. During such events, visitors may have the opportunity to be audience members. At other times, daily tours led by broadcast veterans will offer visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how a news studio works. A second, smaller studio features a dramatic live backdrop view of the U.S. Capitol.
Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater. The Annenberg Theater is a flexible presentation space, capable of seating 450 or more visitors for public programs, film screenings, debates and artistic performances. In its primary daytime configuration, the theater presents "I-Witness," a customized, high-tech, four-dimensional interactive feature that takes visitors to great news events of history in a "you-are-there" experience that combines museum-quality content with theme-park excitement.
Fourteen other theaters, including three Hearst Orientation Theaters and the Robert H. and Clarice Smith Big Screen Theater with a 100-foot-long video news wall, are spread throughout the Newseum, offering visitors a variety of diverse viewing experiences.
Master Control. Situated in the middle of the interactive experiences and studios, the Master Control center will integrate the technology behind the Newseum into the experience itself. Visitors can watch technicians monitoring incoming and outgoing production broadcast feeds and controlling all aspects of the day-to-day activities in the entire museum, including kiosks, galleries and theaters.
Polshek Partnership Architects created several memorable experiences that emanate from the building's unique design.
The Hank Greenspun Terrace on Pennsylvania Avenue treats visitors to panoramic views of the U.S. Capitol and the National Mall, unmatched by any other public facility in Washington. The view encompasses landmarks and monuments of American history — the U.S. Capitol, the National Gallery of Art, the National Archives, the Smithsonian Institution and the Washington Monument. This 3,000-square-foot space features an 80-foot-long exhibit that traces the colorful history of Pennsylvania Avenue and the important news events — from protests to presidential inauguration parades — that have taken place on America's Main Street.
The iconic New York Times—Ochs-Sulzberger Family Great Hall of News features a 90-foot-high atrium and a 40-by-22-foot high-definition media screen — visible both inside and outside the museum — that will feature historical and current events and breaking news.
The Newseum also features a food court, two-level Newseum Store and a special entrance on the C Street side of the building for groups. In addition to the Newseum, the building includes a two-level, 24,000-square-foot conference center, a three-level restaurant — the Source by Wolfgang Puck — and more than 140,000 square feet of residential apartments.
The building's total area — including conference center, restaurant, offices and apartments — is 643,000 square feet. Total project cost is expected to be approximately $450 million, including $100 million for the purchase of the site.
- Building architect: Polshek Partnership Architects
- Exhibit design: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
- Project management: Tishman Speyer
- General contractor: Turner Construction Co.