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E-mail From Washington

From: CNN Washington
In: Arlington, Va.
Posted: 4-18-97

Subject: Newseum opens outside Washington

The Newseum, billed as the world's first interactive museum of news, was opened to the public Friday, with Vice President Al Gore and prominent journalists on hand, and a special message from President Bill Clinton, to dedicate the attraction.

Gore called the muesum a bridge to help "build better understanding between the press and public."

Clinton later addressed museum officials and vistors via a two-way hookup from the White House. He paid tribute to the work of reporters, who he said often "struggle at personal risk to get the news ... America is stronger and freer because of them."

Longtime White House correspondent Helen Thomas of UPI noted polls showing the media currently is not popular among the public. "So what?" she asked. She said the role of the press is to expose truth, a process that may not be pretty sometimes, but necessary in a free society.

The museum is located outside Washington, D.C. in Arlington, Virginia, and contains memorabilia, artifacts, a theater, broadcast studio, and will sponsor forums and guest speakers. It's designed to take vistors behind the scenes to see and experience how news is made. It is being funded by the non-partisan Freedom Forum.


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