Discover the past, the present and the future of media

From event to news
Media need input, something that they can disseminate: an event that becomes news. This room illuminates the work of news agencies and journalists and provides an insight into the filtration processes a piece of news goes through. The main theme here is how the transmission of news has changed from the Stone Age to the present day. This is graphically visualised on a huge video wall.
In the connecting doorway to the next room, an exposed tie rod indicates a wooden beam ceiling that probably dates from the time the house was first built.

Media for the masses
The emergence and development of mass communication and its historical and social impact are presented in terms of the three established key media:  newspapers, radio and television. A specially printed newspaper provides information on the history of the press, there is a radio feature on the medium of radio, and a TV programme illustrates the history of television. And, of course, this discourse on media for the masses also takes interactive electronic media into full account.
Countless historical originals of newspapers round off the presentation.

Reading and writing
A large-format presentation takes you through the history of reading, from the oldest surviving clay tablets to newspapers on the mobile phone. There is a world map on which you can call up newspapers from (almost) every country in the world and explore the differences in reading behaviour. The exhibition also covers the history of writing and typeface.

Lies and truths
Manipulation of images and text is an ever-present feature of the world of media. You will learn that you can’t always trust your eyes and ears. The main focus is on the question of freedom of the press and of the media. Censorship was and still is one of the greatest threats to freedom. A selection of exhibits – newspapers that fell victim to censorship – leave a lasting impression. The work of the Press Council is profiled, and the exhibition also features documentation of the dangers involved in the work of reporters in war zones.

Insights – perspectives
An impression of the complex structures of the world of media: Holographic objects create a virtual reality that offers perspectives on aspects of our media future. In the “egg”, an enclosed presentation room, you can experience first-hand what media sensory overload means. A 3-D monitor maps the intricate web of interrelationships that define our media society. Several well-known representatives of the media voice their opinions on the future of the world of media, and provide food for thought for your own discussions. And, of course, you’re welcome to add your own comments.


Pontstr. 13
52062 Aachen
Tel. +49 241 432 4910

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Opening Hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 10 am – 5 pm


Single ticket: 5€ / 3€ (concessions)
Family: 10€
Groups: 3€/2€ pp (8 or more)

More Information .DE

02. October 2021 – 06. February 2022

Between 1988 and 1999, photographer Ralf Schuhmann was on the move with his camera in Leipzig and Berlin. The products of these expeditions – black-and-white photographs from a time of historic upheaval – are now on show in the exhibition “Grauzone” (“Grey Zone”) at the International Newspaper Museum (IZM) in Aachen. On display: motifs from the last days of the German Democratic Republic, followed by shots of the “Monday demonstrations” in Leipzig and the fall of the Berlin Wall in autumn 1989. Then, images of the Currency Union and German Reunification in 1990. The official accession of the GDR to the Federal Republic of Germany merely marked the starting point of a unification process that is still ongoing today. In those early days, there was widespread disappointment and concern in former East Germany about the profound effects of the social changes. These feelings led to protests, some of them forthright, as can be seen in some of the photos of the demonstrations in 1991. The second section of the show features Leipzig as an illustrative example of the dereliction of East German cities during the GDR era and the first stages of restoration and redevelopment in the 1990s following reunification. The photo series “Leipzig im Umbruch” (“Leipzig in Transition”) charts the renewal and transformation of the Saxon trade fair city through to the year 1999. The photographer’s visual vocabulary – a blend of the documentary and the artistic – lends the photos in the exhibition a strong sense of authenticity and avoids time-worn clichés, providing visitors with ample scope for reflection on their own personal views of events in those days.

Ralf Schuhmann was born in Leipzig. After training as a photographer in Leipzig, he studied at the Hochschule der Künste (“University of the Arts”) in Berlin. Today, he lives and works in the Cologne-Bonn-Koblenz region. His photographs have been exhibited in Germany, Italy, Great Britain and China. (