The Ferguson demonstrations have become major news and to preserve this historic protest movement, the Newseum announced it has collected more than a dozen items from protesters and journalists. And later this month, the museum will update its Bloomberg Internet, TV and Radio Gallery to include artifacts from reporters who covered the protests from August to November, including rubber pellets from a stun grenade that police used to disperse protesters, according to a press release.
Just before the November 24 grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Black teen Michael Brown, Newseum online managing editor Sharon Shahid traveled to Ferguson to collect items for the museum. While in Ferguson, she spoke with reporters about their experiences, including St. Louis Post-Dispatch staff photographer David Carson, who took photos as the protests unfolded.
Then, following the grand jury decision in November, the Newseum created a feedback wall asking visitors to vote “Yes” or “No” on whether they believed news coverage of the events in Ferguson has been fair and accurate. The majority of visitors replied “No” in the first few weeks.
“One of our roles at the Newseum is to help people understand and appreciate First Amendment freedoms,” said Peter Prichard, chairman and CEO of the Newseum. “The continuing debate about Ferguson gives us an opportunity to show why two of those freedoms — the rights to assemble peaceably and to petition the government for a redress of grievances — are so important, even though we often take them for granted.”
Other items collected for the Newseum are: a homemade “Police the Police” poster; a T-shirt that reads “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”; and three African-American weekly newspapers that feature front-page coverage of the protests.