Thursday, December 23, 2010

Newseum and Freedom Forum troubles

Former Gannett employee Jim Hopkins is known for his pointed work to cut through the corporate spin at his former employer through his Gannett Blog.

But Hopkins also is a good reporter - and he has delved into the finances of the Freedom Forum and Newseum in Washington and come up with some serious questions. Among them, what kind of financial controls have been in place at a time when spending on the Newseum soared over initial estimates and the Freedom Forum's endowment dropped by half during the past decade?

The Newseum, the glass-and-concrete, $450 million paean to the news industry on pricey Pennsylvania Avenue between the Capitol and White House has had its share of criticism, including almost ignoring copy editors and their roles in the nation's newsrooms.

Now, it looks like a ripe target for some more enterprising reporting. I have my doubt's though, that this and the multimillion dollar Freedom Forum will get the same scrutiny as, say, the United Way did almost two decades ago, from the Washington Post and ABC.

Anyone want to suggest their own morning line on that?

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