Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Newseum Rocks!


I was in Washington, DC, this weekend for a meeting and, dutiful writer that I am, I went to visit the Newseum. That's a museum on Pennsylvania Avenue that chronicles the history of journalism (www.newseum.org). My friend Hildy had told me she’d heard it was highly worth seeing—and it was. In fact, it was fantastic! I had a great couple of hours there.

First off, it's a beautiful glass-windowed building with an incredible view--it gazes down the block to the U.S. Capitol.

Second, the exhibits are fascinating, varied, and often interactive. My favorite was the collection of Pulitzer-prize winning photos spanning some 40 years. Most were outrageously sad and somber: a naked young Vietnamese girl running from napalm ...a dead American soldier being dragged through the streets of Somalia...a Thai man being hanged.

Others were incredibly joyful: Bill Clinton laughing amidst a parade...a young boy looking up at a kindly policeman.

Still others gave me chills: a rain-soaked Barack Obama making a last campaign stop despite a downpour...soldiers raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.

There were so many other great exhibits, too: Pieces of the Berlin Wall, a 9/11 exhibit (complete with tear-inducing video interviews with journalists on the scene at the World Trade Center), photos from Woodstock, pictures of presidents and their dogs, a crime wing containing Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s actual cabin in the Montana woods, and covers of the current day’s front pages of newspapers from all over the country (with nary a throughline story among them!). And finally, George Stephanopoulos’ tiny (and I mean tiny) studio, where he shoots his Sunday news show. Basically, it consists of a small round table sitting in front of a row of windows looking down to the Capitol. Amazing how spacious TV can make a set look!

73 comments:

Sheryl Kraft said...

Nancy, When my son went to college in DC, we visited the Newseum and loved it; in fact, I bought him a membership as a gift. What a fascinating place. I loved the photos, too. Very moving indeed!

Judith said...

Nancy, if I were in Washington, DC, I too would visit the Newseum. Mental note to self, visit when there. Until then, thanks for the tour!

judy

marthaandme said...

It sounds like a great place to visit. There are so many museums in DC, this one never made it onto my list. Thanks for pointing it out to me!

Susan Johnston said...

I love the Newseum! Did you do the 4-D movie with all those journalists throughout history? That was my favorite part, and it felt VERY real!

ReadyMom said...

I haven't visited Washington DC, this gives me one more reason to add it to the family vacation list.

Jennifer Margulis said...

This looks fabulous. I can't wait to visit it next time I'm in Washington, D.C. Thanks for all the good information!

Alexandra Grabbe said...

I grew up in DC, and the Newseum gives me another great reason to go back for a visit. I didn't even know it existed, so thanks for the tip!

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart said...

I would love to see it. So jealous you got to go.

Stephanie - Wasabimon.com said...

Oh, I didn't even know this existed! Thanks for this.

stephanerd said...

Thanks for letting all us journalist types live vicariously through you! I can't believe I haven't been to the Newseum once in all the times I've been to D.C. I would totally love that sort of thing, and I'm especially intrigued by your descriptions of the photos. Okay. Consider it officially added to my next trip's itinerary!

Nancy Monson said...

Hi,

When you go to DC, usually you go to the Smithsonian museums first, and there are a ton of them. I had never even HEARD of the Newseum until recently, but now it's one of my favorite museums I've been to because...well, it's all about what we do! (And they did it up very well to boot.)

Thanks,
Nancy

Alisabow said...

I did not know about this museum until reading your review. How is that? Just reading about it made me nostalgic. I remember some of those photos, some of those stories. Great write up. Can't wait to visit the real thing.

Peggy Bourjaily said...

Oh! I'm from DC and of course have never been there. Maybe I'll take baby girl and the hubby over Thanksgiving. Thanks for reminding me of all the great things to see and do in DC:)

Meredith Resnick - The Writer's [Inner] Journey said...

This is a place I'd love to visit. It's on my list now, for our next trip to DC.

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