New Displays Explore an Era of Digital Disruption

Digital Disruption, Case 7, exhibits,

This original cartoon by Politico’s Matt Wuerker provides a sneak peek at the themes that “Digital Disruption” will cover.

“Digital Disruption,” a new display being unveiled Friday, Nov. 2, will explore how the news industry has been transformed by the internet and digital innovation.

Updates to the Newseum’s popular News Corporation News History Gallery cover the erosion of local news; the power of Google and Facebook as news purveyors; a look at digital news innovators such as Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Arianna Huffington; an exploration of some of today’s most influential news sites; and a look at fake news, mistrust of the press, President Donald Trump and Twitter as well as threats to journalists.

“Since its arrival in the 1990s, the internet has transformed how news is reported and consumed. This new display will examine the ways Facebook, Google, Twitter and other social media sites have changed news delivery, the impact on news consumers and how digital news outlets are changing the media landscape,” said Carrie Christofferson, the Newseum’s new executive director.

Artifacts in Case 7 include print news reflecting these seismic changes, powerful protest posters, buttons and hats demonstrating how social media is used to unite people behind a cause or to protest injustice, as well as a press pass and notebook used by The Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold to report on candidate Trump’s claims of charitable contributions that were found to be exaggerated.

“We also have Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs’ glasses that were broken when he was body-slammed by a candidate for Congress from Montana during the 2016 campaign, to illustrate the hostile environment toward journalists,” explained Patty Rhule, vice president of content and exhibit development at the Newseum.

Other changes to the News Corporation News History Gallery include the addition of “Behind the News: A Deadly Attack on a Community Newspaper.” This new installation explores the risks journalists face in an increasingly hostile climate for the press. It specifically focuses on the story of the attack that killed five staff members at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., in June 2018 and details how the tiny staff put out a newspaper the next day that reported on their own tragedy.

Artifacts for this exhibit include votive candles and posters left at a makeshift memorial outside the newspaper’s offices and the following day’s newspaper that reported on the attack. This addition to the gallery will also be unveiled Nov. 2.

Learn about the Newseum’s upcoming 2019 exhibits.

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