No free press at the Newseum

March 19, 2008

The Newseum got a $25 million donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Washington, D.C.-based journalism museum said on Wednesday. That’s not a bad haul by any means, especially when most U.S. news outlets could do with a heavy infusion of cash in these troubled economic times.

It sounds even better when you consider that the museum has raised $104 million since May 2006. It sounds better still for their financial future when you learn that although the Newseum is based in Washington, D.C., there’s no Smithsonian -style free entry. Adults between the ages of 13 and 64 pay $20 to get in, while children 7-12 pay $13 each (and children under 7 pay nothing).

So is there a special journalist’s discount? After all, journalism is known for the gap between the crazy amounts of work reporters do and the small compensation that most of them get. That can make it hard to afford much more than chicken fingers and a happy-hour beer at the local watering hole.

No luck, according to the Newseum’s director of marketing, Mike Fetters, unless you’re there to cover an event. Oh well, if you’re a journalist visiting the Newseum, you may be missing deadline anyway.

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