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Newseum Opens Web Window On New Digs

The Newseum, which is preparing to open fancy new digs in Washington this fall, has redesigned its Website in preparation for its reopening.

The site features a video of ongoing construction and a virtual tour of the museum's seven levels.

The Newseum has been closed since March 2002 when it decided to make the move from Rossyln, Virginia to downtown Washington. It will now be located at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street, N.W., at the base of Capitol Hill and adjacent to the National Mall.

The building will house seven floors of exhibits on the history and role of journalism and it will include many hands-on opportunities likely to make it a big draw for school field trips. Among those are a virtual newsroom where visitors get a chance to play reporter.

Architecturally, the museum is meant to suggest transparency and freedom. To make the point crystal clear, the exterior of the building will include a 74-foot-high rendering of the First Amendment and an "immense front wall of glass through which passers-by will be able to watch the museum fulfilling its mission of providing a forum where the media and the public can gain a better understanding of each other."

In addition to galleries and exhibitions, the building will house studios, theaters, a newsroom and shops. And in its own version of Times Square news tickers, there will be a Great Hall of News featuring a 40-foot-by-22-foot HD screen— visible from outside the museum— airing historical footage and breaking news.

In addition to money from the Freedom Forum ( formerly the Gannett Foundation) the museum has gotten $52 million from big media companies including News Corp., ABC, NBC Universal and Time Warner, for naming rights to some of the exhibits.