Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama continues to engage new media

More than 49 million Americans watched President Barack Obama's first White House news conference on broadcast and cable television, according to ratings figures released on Tuesday. The figure does not include those who watched Monday's news conference over the Internet, which has been a key venue for Obama supporters to follow him.

For some media types and bloggers, the news coming out of the prime-time press conference is that Obama took a question from a blogger representing The Huffington Post. The President made time for only 13 questions, and this marked the first time a president has acknowledged a blogger during a prime-time event. Media outlets left out included the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Newsweek. The journalists were pre-selected by the White House.

The choice to include a blogger turned some heads. But perhaps we shouldn't be too surprised. After all, Obama is the first president to openly engage new media. Also, the fact that an online publication like The Huffington Post is thriving seems to signal an evolution in journalism.

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