Press Releases

Apr 22, 2016

The Newseum Launches Virtual Reality Initiative

Mitch Gelman, New Senior Fellow in Media and Technology, to Participate in Newseum’s First VR Panel

WASHINGTON — Mitch Gelman, an experienced digital media executive and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is joining the Newseum’s efforts in the area of virtual reality (VR), exploring its impact on free expression and the implications for how the public receives news and information. During his two-month term as a senior fellow in media and technology, Gelman will help secure strategic partnerships and establish a technology conference series at the Newseum focused on the impact and future of VR.

“Mitch’s breadth of experience, record of success and enthusiasm for the promise of virtual reality make him the ideal person to expand this area of our work,” said Jeffrey Herbst, president and chief executive officer of the Newseum. “The Newseum is uniquely positioned not only to lead the conversation around VR, but also to offer the public an opportunity to experience this new technology and its impact on how we consume news, information and entertainment.”

On April 28, 2016, Gelman will participate in a free program the Newseum is co-sponsoring with Producers Guild of America, AAF DC and Capitol Communicator. Panelists for the program, “Virtual Reality, Storytelling and News,” includes several of the best content creators, producers, technology companies and others involved in this emerging field.

Since it first opened in Rosslyn, Va., in 1997, to its home on Pennsylvania Avenue today, the Newseum has earned a reputation for interactive and innovative exhibits that celebrate free expression and the First Amendment. Its commitment to the emerging promise of VR signals the next generation of visitor experiences and new ways to engage, entertain and educate the public about the fundamental freedoms of our democracy.

Gelman, who co-authored the Knight Foundation’s March 2016 report, “Viewing the Future? Virtual Reality in Journalism,” most recently was vice president of product at Gannett Company. He oversaw digital product development in key areas for properties that included more than 90 national and local news entities across the USA TODAY NETWORK. His award-winning work includes hundreds of cutting-edge mobile, web and desktop applications, many of which feature spherical video and gesture-based engineering that create VR and augmented reality experiences. Prior to joining Gannett in 2011, he was a vice president at and chief operating officer at THX, Ltd.

About the Newseum

The mission of the Newseum, located in Washington, D.C., is to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment. Visitors experience the story of news, the role of a free press in major events in history, and how the core freedoms of the First Amendment — religion, speech, press, assembly and petition — apply to their lives. Considered one of the most interactive museums in the world, the Newseum has seven levels with 15 galleries and 15 theaters. The Newseum also reaches millions of students through its robust offering of on-site classes and workshops. The Newseum is a 501(c)(3) public charity funded by generous individuals, corporations and foundations, including its principal funder, the Freedom Forum. For more information, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Press Contacts

Jonathan Thompson