The Newseum in Washington, D.C., later this month will tell the story of the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., through more than a dozen items collected from journalists who covered the protests.
As the national story continues to play out, the museum has begun to chronicle the media’s coverage of what happened since the Aug. 9 shooting and what it says about 1st Amendment freedoms.
“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,” museum chairman Peter Prichard says in a statement about the exhibition.
The museum gathered items such as reporter notebooks about early protests on Aug. 17 that were touched off after Brown was shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson in the town outside St. Louis.
Rubber pellet balls from police weapons used during protests, a homemade “Police the Police” poster, a T-shirt with the words “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and newspaper accounts from the African American community will be among the items displayed.
Last month the Newseum also asked visitors to weigh in on whether they thought news coverage of events in Ferguson was “fair and accurate.” This took place after a grand jury Nov. 24 declined to charge Wilson with any wrongdoing.
In the first week, the majority answered “no.”
The items will be added Dec. 19 to the “Make Some Noise: Students and the Civil Rights Movement” exhibit.