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Rick Robinson's Second Time Around: The Newseum

Northern Kentucky author & attorney Rick Robinson is back in Washington, DC where he spent years on the staff of then-Congressman Jim Bunning. As a busy staffer on the Hill, it's easy to miss the beauty of our nation's capital. And that's what happened to Rick. This time, he vows to take it all in - and share it with you in "Second Time Around".

There are so many museums in DC where you can wander around free of charge, it is easy to walk past those asking $20 to get through the doors. I’ve done that at the Newseum on several occasions, choosing instead one of the nearby free Smithsonian museums or art galleries. Having attended a conference at the Newseum earlier in the week, I decided to go back.

What I discovered was, with exhibits chronicling the news events of our lifetime, the Newseum is one of the most compelling day-treks in DC. As it takes several hours to walk the entire museum, a ticket is good for two consecutive days. 
If you go, take the time to view the various movies. The one documenting the journalist who covered 9/11 will move you to tears. And the 4-D experience is exceptionally cool.
What really struck me as making the Newseum worth the admission price was viewing the events of our lifetime in the context of how those moments were reported to us. We’ve seen all of this before, but not necessarily from this perspective.
Along the street, the Newseum displays the front pages of one newspaper published in each state and from select newspapers around the world. This particular day, I was able to read a few local stories from Northern Kentucky as I stood on Pennsylvania Avenue. However, it was this newspaper from the Ukraine (pictured above) that caught my eye and set the tone for my visit.

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The view of the US Capital from the top deck is perhaps the best in DC.

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Like most museums, the Newseum is a combination of permanent and special exhibits. Currently there is an exhibit featuring coverage of the FBI. From the death of John Dillinger to Waco, the exhibit recounts stories that marked the times, as well as how the FBI’s involvement was covered. The largest artifact in the exhibit is the cabin of the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.

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The 9/11 exhibit sets the tone for the entire museum. Front pages from around the country surround the broadcast tower pulled from the wreckage in New York, a portion of the Pentagon and wreckage from Pennsylvania. The movie at the exhibit tells the story of how several of the first journalist on the scene struggled to report the story they were experiencing.

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The Newseum is very hands-on, kid-friendly and interactive. You can post social media at stops throughout the tour, develop story boards on historical events and even record yourself in a news broadcast. There is something for everyone – literally – as shown by the final special exhibit on the tour, Anchorman – the Exhibit.
For more columns and stories by Rick Robinson, click here.

For more on Rick Robinson's award-winning books, visit his Amazon page here and his website here.