Newseum set for final public event before 31st December closure

Article: David Styles | Image: © Sam Kittner/Newseum

Newseum, the Washington D.C. institution dedicated to championing the First Amendment, is poised to host its final event prior to closing its doors for good.

On 11th December the Newseum team will welcome a raft of invited guests in order to celebrate its history and legacy, as well as looking forward to the work that will continue under the auspices of the Freedom Forum.

Newseum’s final deadline

The museum has “struggled financially for a number of years”, leading to the sale of its prime location on Pennsylvania Avenue for $372.5 million.

Jan Neuharth, Freedom Forum’s chair and chief executive, said it had been a “difficult decision, but it was the responsible one”. 

The programme will feature speakers discussing the importance of the First Amendment along with a panel of ‘First Amendment Heroes’ who will discuss how they have used the amendment’s five freedoms in their work.

The line-up of speakers will include Floyd Abrams, America’s foremost First Amendment lawyer, and Chris Wallace, anchor of Fox News Sunday. The session will also host a panel debate moderated by Lata Nott, executive director of the Freedom Forum Institute’s First Amendment Center.

Audience members will then be given a tour of the museum’s sprawling Pennsylvania Avenue site before an evening reception gets under way.

Almost ten million visitors have toured the corridors of Newseum since it opened more than 11 years ago, but the group attending the institution’s final public event will doubtless be amongst the last ever to do so.

The Freedom Forum says despite losing its flagship site it “remains committed to continuing the Newseum’s mission to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment”.