- The Washington Times - Friday, March 1, 2002

Museum staff, volunteers and members of the local journalism community bid a bittersweet adieu to the Newseum Wednesday night with live jazz and finger foods.

Although they mourned the closing of the journalism museum in Arlington, which has seen about 2.25 million people come through its doors since 1997, they all knew it would reopen in four years, a block north of the Mall. The closing is set for 5 p.m. Sunday.

"We're going to come back bigger and better than ever," said Peter Prichard, president of the Freedom Forum, which funds the Newseum. The temporary closure has been attributed to the Freedom Forum's falling stock portfolio.

Some Newseum activities and programming will continue.

"We'll be adding names to the Journalists Memorial on May 3, and at that time we will also pay tribute to Daniel Pearl," said Mr. Prichard, referring to the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and slain by Muslim militants in Pakistan.

Every year, the Newseum staff honors the journalists who have lost their lives while on assignment. The memorial has about 1,400 names so far. In May, an additional 51 of those who died in 2001 will be added.

Inside the museum's News History Gallery, the staff already has set up a small exhibit on Mr. Pearl's contributions to journalism.

"It's so tragic," WUSA-TV news anchorwoman Andrea Roane says. "All he was trying to do was cover the news in a balanced way. He tried to cover all sides. But [his killers] didn't get it."

Among the 500 guests were members of the Washington-area journalism community, such as political commentator Mark Plotkin, Miss Roane, Marvin Kalb, Bernard Kalb, Gordon Peterson, Shelby Coffey III, John Cochran and his wife, Barbara.

The new museum will be at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street NW, between the U.S. Capitol and the White House and across the street from the National Gallery of Art.


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