Written by Daniel Radka|
Photographs by Caleb Adams-Hull|
The Newseum is a new museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. that was created to document the First Amendment freedoms of the Constitution of the United States. It features many prolific and famous examples of First Amendment freedoms. These include the armbands worn by students in the Tinker v. Des Moines supreme court case which set a precedence of students’ rights to speech and petition, an exhibit featuring the front page of newspapers on 9/11, a wall of journalists who lost their lives while reporting, and a section of the museum dedicated to Pulitzer prize winning photographs.
Sophomore Caleb Adams-Hull recently attended the museum while visiting Washington. He said, “overall I felt like the Newseum gave me an in-depth look into what it really means to be a journalist and the sacrifices that they make in order to provide us with unbiased news, even when it is dangerous. This was especially evident in the wall of journalists who had died as a result of their reporting.” The museum has a wall dedicated to those who lost their lives bringing the world news and reporting from some of the most dangerous places on earth. The wall has the picture of every journalist who died, giving it a similar feel to the CIA’s wall of stars.
Caleb also stated that he “loved seeing the newspapers from the different important events during the history of our nation because I got the feeling that I was traveling back in time. It felt like I was actually there when World War I started and when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed.”
The United States is known for its free press and the ability for media organizations to operate without many governmental restrictions, but that is not the case for a lot of the world. There is an exhibit at the Newseum that shows the levels of journalistic freedoms. Green: Free; Yellow: Partially Free; Red: Not Free.
The Newseum provides a detailed explanation of the press and journalism going back hundreds of years. Certain parts of the museum act as portals to a different time, allowing the viewer to learn about what people cared about in the respective time period. Other sections of the museum force the viewer to think about how lucky they are to be living in a country with a free and unrestricted press, knowing that free media is a luxury that most of the world cannot afford. The Newseum is worth visiting simply to gain insight into the media, past and present.