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Media Memories: The Newseum Story of News
Nimkoff, Mark Francis
Doctoral Committee Chair(s)
Nerone, John C.
Department of Study
Degree Granting Institution
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This document explains the origins and work of the Newseum, with an appeal to the idea that the mythology of the civic compact that undergirds press power and privilege requires ongoing maintenance. Through an analysis of the Newseum's origins, aspirations, methods, and location within a broader discourse of journalism, this narrative explores the memory work of the media, the dynamics of modern and late modern journalistic identity, the media work of the museum, and the news media's ongoing work of re-legitimating the cultural authority of journalism. I argue that the imagined reality and material reality of the news media are increasingly at odds, and that the traditional means for representing the civic compact (most importantly, the forms of news themselves, which increasingly hail segmented consumers) are increasingly incapable of convincingly representing the press's idealized role of civic stewardship; thus, the necessity and advent of the Newseum.