The Power of Journalism: A Newseum Perspective

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While recently exploring Washington D.C., I visited the Newseum, which was one of the most interesting interactive museums I have ever seen. With various exhibits highlighting the history of journalism, I learned about the significance of media in shaping our perception of past and current events. One of my favorite quotes was:

“Journalists write the first draft of history.” -Publisher Philip L. Graham.

Visitors could easily spend a day or two at the Newseum, but for those of us with limited travel time, I have outlined my favorite parts of the Newseum below. I was able to see all of these highlights in 2 hours.

News Corporation News History Gallery: Stroll the visual exhibit and open drawers to view more than 500 years of newspaper history, from the first newspaper to blogging and social media. As a blogger and social media enthusiast, I was intrigued to learn about the transition from traditional media to digital media.

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Today’s Front Pages: The exhibit features the front cover of newspapers from all 50 states and 2,000 newspapers worldwide. I was amazed to learn that the Newseum updates these 2,000 front pages every day!

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9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast: View artifacts from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and read headlines from international publications on 9/11. One of the most heartbreaking parts of the display was seeing dismantled cell phones that supposedly continued to ring for days after the attacks, with calls from fearful family members searching for their lost loved ones. This was the first 9/11 exhibit I have ever seen and it was very powerful and touching to me.

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The Boomer List: Read profiles of significant leaders across industries from every year of the Baby Boomer generation. I took photos of the leaders that resonated with me and hope to have a positive impact on the world like many of them.

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Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery: Learn history through Pulitzer Prize photography dating back to 1942 (the most comprehensive assembly of Pulitzer Prize photographs) and feel the emotions of the people taking place in the photographed scenes.

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Berlin Wall Gallery: View the largest display of the unaltered wall outside of Germany. According to the Newseum website, the “Berlin Wall Gallery tells the gripping story of how news and information helped topple a closed and oppressive society.”

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After touring the Newseum, I was reminded of the significance of media in shaping and influencing my perspective of the past, present, and future. Although we may not want to admit it, we are often strongly influenced by what we read and watch every day. With this understanding, it is important for us to learn about the origins of journalism, which is such a powerful source in our daily lives. The next time you visit Washington, D.C., I highly recommend that you visit the Newseum!

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