Someone keeps stealing the newspaper off my front step—and I’m blaming Obama.
On Monday’s Ragan.com, regular contributor Eddie Torr (pseudonym for a corporate editor) wrote a column about the surge in newspaper sales after Obama’s election and the reaction at his office.
“By 9 a.m. the morning after our national presidential election, e-mails were circulating at work to remind staff that the daily newspapers were bought, paid for and the property of certain individuals and departments. Hands off!” Eddie Wrote.
Maybe I should write a variation of that e-mail and post it on my door at home.
So does Obama’s popularity and promise of change mean a return to print readership in America? Maybe inside corporations (as Torr suggested), but not among the general population. In fact, it seems an Obama administration may bury print newspapers.
The same day Torr’s article ran on Ragan.com, The Washington Post published a story about the Obama administration’s plans for reaching around the media to communicate with citizens.
“Obama aides and allies are preparing a major expansion of the White House communications operation, enabling them to reach out directly to the supporters they have collected over 21 months without having to go through the mainstream media,” The Post reported.
And social media, not mainstream media, is the centerpiece of this plan, explained The Post.
As part of the presidential transition, Obama officials are looking to add a significant “new media” component to the White House communications operation. The campaign employed 95 people in its Internet operation, building a user-friendly Web site that served as a platform for grass-roots activities and distributed statements, policy positions and footage of Obama events. The White House Web operation will follow a similar but probably more ambitious path, transition officials said.
Kennedy invigorated and solidified TV as a medium; Obama will do the same for Web 2.0. If you haven’t already, check out his transition Web site, Change.gov. Among the many features is a blog, constantly updated newsroom, information on the growing list of appointees and, perhaps most importantly, an online suggestion box.
“Share your story and your ideas, and be part of bringing positive lasting change to this country,” says a description below the “It’s Your America: Share Your Ideas” link on the site.
If the president-elect has wholesale adopted social media isn’t it time corporations do the same? And as for newspapers, well, their short-lived popularity November 5 shows that they truly have—for better or worse—become relics of the 21st century. Pretty soon The Home Shopping Network will sell today’s print newspaper between the Model T Ford commemorative coins and the Elvis Presley plate set.
At least my newspaper will be there in the morning.