A new administration, and everything changes. Barack Obama has already announced that his weekly radio address to the nation will also be filmed and then posted on YouTube. If nothing else, this is a president who understands communications in the 21st Century.
In fact, he’s already started using the Democratic weekly address as an opportunity to discuss his plans for the country and the transition issues. You can see this week’s address at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zd8f9Zqap6U, or simply watch it here:
This is a brilliant move. Few people listen to the presidential address on Saturday mornings; our lives are too busy and we just don’t listen to radio that much. We’re satisfied with a sound bite or two on the evening news. But video is more compelling, and this format lets you watch whenever you want. And our younger citizens pass around YouTube clips today the way we’d share 45s back in the 60s.
It will be interesting to see if the interest in presidential positions will survive past the first 100 days, but this is certainly a bold experiment and one that I expect will be effective in getting the new president’s message directly to more of the U.S. citizens, unfiltered by the news media.
This is a long way from FDR’s original fireside chats, but I expect that he’d get it.