Friday, January 30, 2009

Thoughts on the Inauguration's coverage

A vast crowd assembled to watch Barack Obama be sworn in as president, and based on the coverage afterwards, it appears that many have differing opinions on the event. Certainly, there was a range in coverage both by national reporters and those from other countries, whether they came to Washington D.C. or reported on events from other locales. Within that range of coverage there were, however, areas of convergence:

"The sentiment seemed to be that this was more than a 'simple' inauguration; it was a bigger 'part of history,' and this story (from CNN) was essentially written by everyday Americans who agree." Maria Fisher

"This article focused more on the size of the event and how Obama was able to inspire thousands upon thousands of people to travel to see his Inauguration ceremony. The tone of the piece suggests Obama is more of a celebrity, using phrases such as 'chanting his name,'" wrote Natalie Jovonoich, adding "an interesting notation about the article is what Michelle Obama and her daughters were wearing. This is certainly not a necessary item for the world to know."


TIME magazine’s coverage of the inauguration, journalist Nancy Gibbs begins the article by characterizing the speech as somber, given the day’s expected excitement. . . .
She emphasizes his words about the crisis we are in and how we must work to reaffirm the 'greatness of our nation.'" Taylor Mirfendereski

"Though the reports from both major papers (Wall Street Journal and New York Times) expressed the dire state of the nation and the somewhat sober address from the new president in his speech, both also heavily played up his promise to 'begin again the work of remaking America.'" Michael Barajas 

The Middle East
"The Middle East had much to say about the inauguration, most telling, I thought, was Jordan's independent, pro-government Al-Ra'y that said, 'Obama will not preform miracles and it would be silly for Arabs to think that he will support them if the do not help themselves. However, at worst he will not be as bad as Bush and he is supposed to make a change like in his slogans.' Much of the media seemed optimistic but hesitant." Veronica Norton

"This article filed in Beijing, China is one of many that noted the Chinese government's omission of the word 'Communism' from Obama's speech, and in other censorship, some even removed an entire paragraph about dissent. I think that decision is overtly significant as it completely alters the tone of the speech." Natalie Jovonoich

The Global Community
"Foreign media, as Dareini implies, was much more eager to see how the election, which screamed for equality, reflects upon U.S. foreign relations. That is to say, the global community is hoping for progress and a turn-around in U.S. policies which previously lacked such equality." Halle Tansing

"Though the focus of The Guardian wasn't too far off of other Western Media, Al-Jazeera shows a striking difference in coverage, showing not only the historic nature of the inauguration, but also the tough international climate this president is being brought in to." Michael Barajas

"Much of the national coverage of the inauguration tended to focus on domestic issues and the historic nature. . . . The international coverage . . . focused more on things like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, American foreign policy and how the United States will interact with other countries under new leadership." Emily Mullin 

Edited by Aerin Curtis
Photos courtesy of Jeffery Lowy and Justin_1988 on Flickr

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