The Newseum in Washington, DC and why news is vital for democracy

One of my favorite museums that I have visited throughout the country and world is the Newseum in Washington, DC. The Newseum is filled with displays that had me giddy, especially since I heavily studied history, political science, and journalism. The Newseum offers something of interest to everyone who visits. The tickets are around $25 but worth the price.

One of the first exhibits includes a real watchtower from Nazi era Germany. You can even walk inside it.

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Right next to the watch tower is a part of the Berlin Wall. A part of important world history is right in the museum.

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In the same section, the Newseum has a display of a decapitated statue of Lenin from the former Soviet Union. One of my specialties was European Studies while I was in school. I always had a fascination with the Soviet Union and the Cold War. This was definitely my favorite part of the Newseum.

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A larger exhibit in the museum was the one dedicated to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It included the top structure of one of the Twin Towers.

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The Newseum also includes an ongoing exhibit showing the front pages of selected print newspapers from around the globe.

One of the coolest rooms in the Newseum was one with the preserved copies of headline news in the US including pivotal moments in US history. It was incredible to know that what I was taught in my journalism classes about newspapers giving an important glimpse on what was happening on that day in history being true.

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A map installed in the Newseum showed the countries in the world that have freedom of press. You can see that many of the countries in yellow and red that lack the freedom of press are the ones with a history of flawed democracies and human rights infractions. Democracy and freedom of press go hand in hand. The press acts as a watchdog for government agencies to make sure that politicians are not getting away with taking advantage of the citizens. If news organizations are not reporting and holding governments capable, who will? Trump’s attacks on the media are not only disheartening, they are threatening to our democracy and freedom.

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