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News museum opens in Washington

Newseum
The Newseum provides an insight into the reporting of historic events

A museum tracing the history of journalism and press freedom has opened its doors for the first time.

The Newseum, in Washington, cost $450m (228m) and boasts thousands of newspaper front pages and photographs, plus artefacts and hours of film.

Newseum executive director Joe Urschel said the site was "dedicated to free speech, free press and free spirit".

An original and much smaller version of the Newseum was based in Arlington, Virginia, and closed in 2002.

The new incarnation is housed on Pennsylvania Avenue, between the White House and the US Capitol.

The seven-floor building offers visitors interactive games in 14 galleries, 15 theatres and two television studios

Berlin Wall

Newseum trustee and ex-Associated Press chief executive Louis Boccardi said the museum was like a newspaper in that visitors could pick and choose what was interesting to them.

Newseum
Newspapers from decades ago feature alongside film and other artefacts

"It's authentic and meant to convey both the good and those situations where we, the press, haven't performed the way we should have," he said.

One of the exhibits features global coverage of the attacks on 11 September, 2001 and the mangled remains of the broadcast tower that stood atop the World Trade Center.

The journalism museum also includes large sections of the Berlin Wall, archived video and newspapers down the ages.

Other exhibits allow visitors to decide on the most important stories for the front page of a newspaper or record a television interview in front of a White House backdrop.

And exhibits will evolve with news of the day.




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