Eight major news media companies and families are donating $52 million to the building of the new Newseum in Washington, D.C. The Newseum, scheduled to open in the fall of 2007, is a $435 million project located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Ave. and Sixth Street, N.W., just a few blocks away from the U.S. Capitol. The Newseum, which was previously located in Arlington, Va., offers museum visitors the chance to take a behind the scenes look at how and why the news is made.
Each of the donors will become a founding partner of the Newseum, and major galleries/venues will bear their names. They are the following:
• The New York Times -- Ochs-Sulzberger family, $10 million, Great Hall of News (atrium)
• News Corp., $10 million, News History Gallery
• The Greenspun family of Las Vegas, $7 million, Terrace on Pennsylvania Ave.
• NBC Universal, $5 million, Interactive Newsroom
• Time Warner, $5 million, World News Gallery
• Hearst Corp., $5 million, Power of News Theater
• ABC News/Walt Disney Co., $5 million, Changing Exhibits Gallery
• The Pulliam family, $5 million, Great Books Gallery
"We believe these generous gifts will strengthen significantly the Newseum's efforts to help people understand the importance of the First Amendment and a free press," said Charles L. Overby, chairman and CEO of the Newseum and the Freedom Forum.
Overby said he expects other companies and families interested in news media and First Amendment issues to give another $50 million before the end of 2007 as part of the $100 million capital campaign.
The Freedom Forum, a nonpartisan foundation based in Arlington, Va., funds the operations of the Newseum. When it opens, the Newseum -- a 250,000-square-foot museum of news -- will feature seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. Visitors can experience five centuries of news history with the latest technology and interactive exhibits.
"This is the most ambitious effort ever to educate the public about the First Amendment and the important role of a free press in society," said Alberto Ibargüen, chairman of the Newseum's executive committee and president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. "This broad base of support underscores the importance of the Newseum's mission."
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