The day the earth (really) stood still

Malia Obama making her own record of the eventBarack Obama’s inaugural address did not disappoint, and I’m with my friends and colleagues who agree that we’re on the cusp of something truly unique. There are two things that stood out to me while watching.

The massive crowds across the country and what had to be an enormous “audience” worldwide all sat or stood with rapt attention on his every word. In that sense alone, this was historically significant, and if there ever was a time to speak frankly to every person in the world, it was this. It’s the kind of moment that truly can change everything.

But the moment that got me most was when the camera panned Obama’s family while he was speaking. You’d think this would be a time to focus on dad, but there was Malia making her own videotape of the moment. That speaks volumes about our culture and also about the role that technology will play in redefining it.

Barack Obama is our President. Let’s get to work.


  1. Watching the traffice to our newspaper web site, it’s apparent how little interest there is in the stories we are posting.

    What’s the roll of a newspaper web site with this kind of television story? How do you be relevant? The amount of resources we
    throw at a story like this don’t pay off in terms of traffic.

  2. This is going to sound flippant, Jim, but it’s not intended to be. The best way a newspaper web site can compete with TV in this (or most other) kind of story is to stop thinking of yourself as a newspaper web site. It’s all about meeting the information needs of the community, not mirroring our legacy platforms. If that was your regular mission and practice, you wouldn’t worry about whether it’s a TV story or otherwise.

    News is a process, not a finished product. That’s the key.

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