Newseum

Kevin Kamberg

The Newseum is one of the most fascinating news resources that I've come across in a very long time.

My favorite part is the navigable world-wide map of newspaper front page screenshots. Clicking on any listed newspaper brings up a window with a close-up of the day's front page along with a readable PDF of it along with a link to that newspaper's website. Today's map has 648 front pages from 64 countries. The Newseum's FAQ says that every day at least 575 newspapers from around the world submit their front pages to the Newseum.

Here in Oregon there are five newspapers participating. I'm not sure why more newspapers don't participate. Having spent most of my early childhood in and around Medford I immediately noticed the Mail-Tribune's absence. Nevertheless Oregon is reasonably well represented and there are a few newspapers from just beyond Oregon's borders - such as The Columbian and the Tri-City Herald - which are as relevant to the nearby Oregonians as the more distantly located Oregon newspapers.

Another really interesting part is the archived front pages of selected major news stories dating back to the Space Shuttle explosion in February 2003.

Want to see what different newspapers published on their front pages when Ronald Reagan died on June 6, 2004? Just click on that entry and up comes 238 front page screenshots, 160 of which are from American newspapers. Search through the listed American papers and you'll find screenshots of The Oregonain and the Statesman Journal for the day Reagan died.

Diehard Red Sox fans will enjoy perusing the 339 screenshots commerating the day that they broke the curse.

(hat tip: Tom Carter)

Comments

  • tedder (unverified)
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    The Newseum is a very cool museum, too. It's in the other Washington (aka DC). Definitely worth visiting for any news or history junkies.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    The Newseum's FAQ says that every day at least 575 newspapers from around the world submit their front pages to the Newseum.

    Of all those newspapers how many are worth reading?

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    Define worth, Bill.

    Taking a cue from Sun Tsu, even reading propaganda can be of value to those serious about fighting it.

  • WonderBlunder (unverified)
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    Soon, all news will be digitized. When the MSM collapse has been completed this will be the only way the MSM will be read anymore.

    Thank God for liberal bias in the news. It has hastened the collapse of the American newspaper industry.

    You guys and gals at BlewOregon should track this collapse a little closer.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    liberal bias in the news.

    Translation: Who the hell wants to deal with facts? This country is anti-intellectual and you give comfort to our many enemies by "understanding their position".

    Why the hell are you trolling blogs if you don't like uncensored speech?

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    I absolutely love this place...wish it was closer so I could take my students to see it firsthand.

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    Yes, it's a fantastic museum - despite the stupid name and the $20 admission charge, it's a must-visit stop the next time you're in the Capital. I spent a couple hours there last week, and easily could have spent several more.

  • tedder (unverified)
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    For an Oregonian, $20 doesn't seem bad. It seems to just be the DCites who complain about it, probably because they are used to free museums :-) But compared to the beat-to-hell Smithsonian museums, it's fantastic.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    Define worth, Bill.

    Taking a cue from Sun Tsu, even reading propaganda can be of value to those serious about fighting it.

    How about worth as enhancement of knowledge and truth in return for the time invested? The vast majority of the mainstream media are notoriously guilty of dishonesty and bias in the interest of their corporate owners and their political ideologies.

    Sun Tsu's point is valid with the proviso that readers know the difference between propaganda and reality.

  • Tom Carter (unverified)
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    The only problem I've found with the site is I can't get away from it! I wander around looking at newspapers, and I lose track of time.

    Try also looking at some foreign papers. I've found a few in English, plus a few in languages I can read a little. Interesting.

  • Bill Bodden (unverified)
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    if I'm not mistaken, Rupert Murdoch is a big supporter of the Newseum. If so, this project should be regarded with caution. Try a Google for "newseum rupert murdoch"

  • mrfearless47 (unverified)
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    I spent half the day today at the Newseum. If you haven't been in person, you're missing half the show. In addition to having copies of all the major newspapers in the world, it also has every Pulitzer Prize winning photograph since the inception of this award on display in a gallery. It is extraordinary to see these photos up close and personal. There are also originals of virtually every major front page describing historic world events over the past 100 years. There is also a 12-panelled graffitied section of the Berlin Wall (not a copy, the real thing). The radio transmission tower from the top of the North WTC building is there in all its twisted and gnarled "glory". They hold a copy of a newspaper from the late 18th century printing the original Bill of Rights. The Newseum is 6 floors tall and is easily a full day if you want to see every exhibit. On the 6th floor, you have an outdoor balcony from which you have a view straight down Pennsylvania avenue for an exquisite view of the Capitol Building and its central dome. During the inauguration this would have been a prime viewing spot save for a front-row seat. George Stephanopoulos uses the studio at the Newseum to tape his Sunday morning talk show. He wasn't here today so we missed it.

    All in all, it is a "must see" for any political and historical junkie. No visit to DC is worthwhile without seeing the Newseum.

    My two cents.

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    Rupert Murdoch is a big supporter of the Newseum.

    As is just about every single major media corporation - ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc.

    You won't find a lot in the way of self-critical examination there, but it's still quite a worthy visit - if only because of the excellent review of the last century of history. Nothing quite beats actually reading the "Dewey Defeats Truman" front page story, and so much more...

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    It's a linguistic treasure trove as well. My favorite was the front page of the Charlotte Observer the day Alan Shepherd made his first sub-orbital flight. "Astronaut's Wife Has Ducky Bumps". The article went on to use the new word in the language, "A-OK".

    It's amazing how many neologisms appear first on the front-page or in headlines. It is also very useful to date when phrases actually entered the lexicon. Looking at the Manchester Guardian from 1963 (not at the Newseum of course), I was surprised to see a line quoted from an episode of Dr. Who, where a young girl at a party asks the Dr., "who does your fab gear?" Fab, OK, but "fab gear" I would have sworn did not exist before 2000.

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