Who will be honored by the memorial? The memorial will honor fallen journalists and the U.S.’s commitment to a free press. It will not name individual journalists.
What will the memorial look like? While no decisions have been made, the preference is for a modestly sized, non-intrusive memorial that is cost-effective to maintain.
When will the process begin? The bipartisan Fallen Journalists Memorial Act authorizes the construction of the memorial. It was unanimously approved by Congress in 2020 and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on December 23, 2020. Designing and building a memorial in Washington, D.C., on federal land is dictated by the Commemorative Works Act (CWA) of 1986, which outlines a seven-year framework from enactment of authorizing legislation to completion of the project unless an extension is granted. The process is overseen by the National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission (NCMAC), which is chaired by the National Park Service (NPS) and made up of other key regulatory agencies that approve commemorative project designs, including the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts (CFA), the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), and others.
Where will the memorial be located? The Foundation intends to pursue the placement of the memorial on federal land in Washington, D.C., located in Area I or II as designated on the adjacent map. Under the CWA, no new memorials are permitted in the area called “the Reserve,” otherwise known as the National Mall. Area I is reserved for commemorative works of “preeminent historical and lasting significance to the United States.” Area II is reserved for “subjects of lasting historical significance to the American people.” Area II encompasses all sections of the District of Columbia and its environs not part of the Reserve or Area I. Placement of the Fallen Journalists Memorial in Area I would require additional authorization by Congress.
Why is this memorial being pursued? The effort to build a memorial was launched as an initiative of the Tribune Publishing Company by its Chairman David Dreier, to mark the first anniversary of the deadliest assault against journalists in United States history – the June 28, 2018, murder of five employees in the newsroom of Tribune Publishing’s The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland. Additionally, in 2019, the Newseum, which housed a memorial to fallen journalists, closed its doors.
How much will the memorial cost? The ultimate cost will depend on variables including the location, size and design of the memorial, the approval and permitting process, construction and maintenance costs, and any educational programs associated with the Foundation (SEE table below for construction related costs of other memorials). The memorial will be funded entirely by private donations. To date, the FJM Foundation has been supported by grants received in 2019 from the Annenberg Foundation and Michael and Jacky Ferro Foundation.