In January, Freedom Forum, Inc., the founder and primary funder of the Newseum, announced that the building that houses the Newseum had been sold to John Hopkins University.
Knowing they would close their doors in December, I’ve tried to soak up as much of the Newseum as I can this year, attending their open Winter Open House, and talks/book signings by trailblazing former Washington Post journalist Dorothy Gilliam and CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta. (I still chuckle when I think of Jim Acosta speaking at the Newseum, triumphantly holding up his hard pass that the Trump White House took away, but was ordered by a judge to return to him. A victory not only for Jim Acosta but for press freedom.)
On February 24, 2019 the Newseum held it’s Winter Open House.
On April 20, 2019, CNN journalist Abby Phillips interviewed trailblazer Dorothy Gilliam, the first female African-American journalist at the Washington Post. Afterwards, Ms. Gilliam held a booksigning.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/364445626″>Jim Acosta at the Newseum July 13, 2019</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user103610216″>Shalana Millard</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
CNN’s Jim Acosta was interviewed at the Newseum on July 13, 2019 about covering Donald Trump as a candidate and as president.
I also feel blessed to have attended two evening programs at the Newseum this year. At their Free Press event sponsored by the Freedom Forum Institute and the Boston Globe, it was a moment that nearly brought me to tears to hear Washington Post global opinions editor Karen Attiah speak about editing Jamal Khashoggi’s final work after his murder.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/364446172″>Sen. Chuck Schumer at the Newseum 022419</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user103610216″>Shalana Millard</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
At a #FreePress event at the Newseum on February 24, 2019, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) encouraged journalists to not let Donald Trump knock them off course. And during a panel discussion, Washington Post global opinions editor Karen Attiah spoke about her murdered friend and colleague, journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
I left the Newseum feeling inspired by America’s ingenuity and can-do spirit, after attending the special screening of the PBS documentary Chasing The Moon to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.
For those, like me, who hoped that December 31 would come slowly, the Newseum jarred us back to reality this week with their reminder that they are “on deadline” and will officially close their doors on New Year’s Eve.
The Newseum is in a reflective mood, asking their Instagram followers yesterday what their favorite memory is at the Newseum.
It’s difficult for me to pin-point one favorite memory, out of 11 years worth of memories at the Newseum. But the President and the Press, and Inside Media events, held at the Newseum’s Knight TV Studio and Annenberg Theater, have left indelible impressions on me. I’m thankful that after these programs, I’ve had the opportunity to tell journalists like Abby Phillips and Jim Acosta to keep up the great work, in spite of the attacks from the White House.
I’m thinking of the solemn moments spent at the Newseum’s memorial to fallen journalists. The breathtaking moments at their 9/11 exhibit, and standing in front of the casing of Dr. King’s jail cell at the Make Some Noise exhibit.
And did you know the Newseum could make you laugh too? Just check out the hilarious headlines gone wrong found on the walls inside their restrooms.
For more than 11 years, the Newseum’s observation deck has also been a main attraction to take in the city landscape. Whenever I’m on the observation deck, I always think how appropriate it is that a museum that is dedicated to the first amendment and a free press, gives you one of the best views of the United States Capitol where our laws are made.
When I walk out of the Newseum for the last time and look back at the building, I will not say goodbye. I will say “until later, Newseum. May the vital work you do shining a light on our five freedoms, continue at another location to be determined in our nation’s capital.”