Sunday, March 8, 2009
The Obama Inauguration
Barrak Obama is the first black president of the United States and his inauguration on January 20, 2009 marks a milestone in the history of the country and the countries relations with the rest of the world. Coverage of his swearing in ceremony graced the front page of papers around the world. In the United States photos of Obama on the day spanned the width of the paper. Internet coverage of the day inspired newspapers to put together multimedia packages and slideshows. A freelance photojournalist shot a large and detailed panorama and there was even a live feed from a satellite online so the event could be watched from directly overhead. Papers across Europe covered the swearing in of the president, the celebrations, the outfits, the speeches, the possibility of a new white house pet, security concerns, and the weight of the occasion all in different stories on the day. International news wires like Agence France-Presse was focused on Obama.
You can find the word hope in almost every story written about the inauguration from the LA Times and NY Times in the US to the Telegraph in London and the Cape Argus in South Africa. Obama brought his message of hope, and this was reflected in the stories. The Standard from Nairobi, Kenya has reported on the joy of its countries people in regards to Obama, whom is of Kenyan lineage, being elected to the position of president for the United States. The Standard has also reported a steady list of situations around the world that they think that Obama, as they see the situation, is not only able to fix, but is obligated too do so. This is quite obvious that not only is the day of Obama’s inauguration, but everyday of Obama’s presidency.
The lead up to Obama becoming president of the United States was courted by the press positively. Television shows that seek out contradictions in the presses’ ethics, like Saturday Night Live, pointed out the bias of the press by making fun of its lean toward Obama. However, after the rocky relations between the Bush Administration and the press there was no attempt to conceal the press was optimistic that the new administration would nurture a better relationship with journalists.
The presses’ positive view toward anything is quite surprising when you consider the current state of newsrooms across the nation. Slow to adapt their print advertising supported business models to an online model that could support the financial burden of the change to an online product newspapers have been unable to maintain the fiscal growth most newspapers across the nation have instituted large scale layoffs of staff. This has been hard on both the reporters who have lost their jobs and those who have stayed fearing that they might be next while dealing with the loss of there co-workers.
A reporter at the Oakland Tribune said that the paper’s newsroom felt happy again working together on the stories leading up to the inauguration. Obama’s inaguration is for newspapers, what The Washington Post called it in regards to the nation, “a moment of particular extremes: enormous joy, great hope, deep fears.”