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The World’s Most Interactive Museum – any body conferring this title on itself has a lot to live up to. The Newseum does so. On seven levels, with 14 galleries and a comprehensive permanent exhibition on the world of news, contemporary history and IT, 15 movie theaters offering documentations, historical and prize-winning material, with two TV studios where one can enjoy making an appearance – naturally in front of an audience.
The museum website, http://www.newseum.org/ contains just what its parent at a prestigious location between the White House and the Capitol promises: Well researched information in internet-compatible and skilfully sorted texts, useful video tie-ins and an entertaining interactive component. This is especially well demonstrated by the museum’s current special exhibition. G-Men and Journalists: Top News Stories of the FBI’s First Century (until June 2009) covers not just the good guys and the history of the FBI during its first century, but also the bad guys on the opposite side.
News junkies find the museum’s long-time hit “Today’s Front Pages” indispensable: Day by day the front pages of around 600 dailies from around the world are available for download, from the Anchorage Daily News to the South China Morning Post, from Belgium’s Standaard to Turkey’s Milliyet, from the Sydney Morning Herald to the Folha de S. Paolo. A brief analysis comes too, and anybody not wishing to read all the front pages will find a Highlight of the Day. Today it comes from India, lauding the country’s space programme. The headline runs: “TO MOON: Right now, it looks a better place than our Earth”. Some consolation for all those who will not make it to the moon: Even a museum can be a finer place and hence one worth aiming for.