Newseum ads don’t do justice to journalism

As a former journalist and voracious history buff, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the opening of the $450 million Newseum in Washington, D.C. But I can understand why some people have been confused by the idea of a museum dedicated to the history and craft of the news industry. That’s why I was so frustrated to see The Martin Agency’s ad campaign for the new landmark. At its finest, journalism is the human face of history, captured at the ground level. So I’m left feeling that a great opportunity was squandered with these ads, which look like some kind of third-grade collage made from a Life magazine “Photos of Our Century” collection. (Click the image above to see a larger version, and click here, here and here to see more executions at Ads of the World.) This is a museum that deserves better. It is not simply about images of history. It’s about the people on either side of the lens. For example, any museum can show you the 1994 Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of a starving Sudanese girl being stalked by a vulture. But the Newseum also shows you the words of the photographer, who killed himself shortly after his shot appeared in The New York Times: “I’m really, really sorry I didn’t pick the child up.”

—Posted by David Griner