Jun 06, 2016
News Blackout Is Part of Campaign to Raise Awareness of Threats to Journalists
WASHINGTON — This morning, for only the second time in the Newseum’s eight-year history on Pennsylvania Avenue, no newspapers will be displayed in the Today’s Front Pages exhibit outside the building on Pennsylvania Avenue, inside the Newseum or online at newseum.org. In their place are blacked-out pages featuring the hashtag #WithoutNews, part of a campaign to raise awareness of the threats to journalists around the world. The blacked-out “front pages” will be on display until tomorrow morning, when the June 7 front pages are posted.
The #WithoutNews campaign is taking place as the museum rededicates its Journalists Memorial, which recognizes journalists who died or were killed in the pursuit of news. At a 10 a.m. ceremony, the names of 20 journalists selected to represent all journalists who died covering the news in 2015 will be added to the 2,271 names on the memorial.
“At the core of our mission to champion free expression is the fundamental freedom to speak without fear of retribution,” said Jeffrey Herbst, president and CEO of the Newseum. “Every day, but especially as we rededicate the Journalists Memorial, we encourage people to consider the unacceptably high human cost of reporting the news from the darker corners of our world and to join us in shining a light in their direction.”
The Newseum is encouraging people to show their support by visiting newseum.org/withoutnews to share their thoughts on a world without news and spread the word by posting the campaign’s profile picture on social media.
More than 1,000 newspapers from six continents participate in the Today’s Front Pages exhibit, which reaches more than 800,000 people who visit the Newseum each year and millions more through the museum’s website and its Today’s Front Pages iOS mobile app.
Each morning, it takes a small team up to three hours to prepare the exhibit. Before sunrise, most of the 1,200 newspapers that regularly participate have electronically submitted their front pages, and the team has begun to select, print and post 150 front pages for physical display in the indoor and outdoor exhibit cases. The pages are posted by 8 a.m. and remain on display until the next morning, when they are collected for use by the Newseum’s Education department.
The Newseum Institute is the education and outreach partner of the Freedom Forum and the Newseum. The Institute includes the First Amendment Center, NewseumED and the Religious Freedom Center. The Newseum Institute’s affiliate organizations include the Al Neuharth Media Center at the University of South Dakota; the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the University of Mississippi; and the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University. The Newseum Institute is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum.