January 27, 2009
Jean Michel, Washington and Gerard Darlan, Paris
The new President is wasting no time in winning over popular support. He has signed an order to close down Guantanamo and is reversing Bush-era environmental restrictions. Now the 44th President is attempting to take his case directly to the American people.
Obama famously announced that his weekly addresses to the nation would be on YouTube instead of the traditional radio. In addition, Obama named Robert Gibbs as the next White House Press Secretary. However, the President is taking things one step further.
Starting by summer of 2009, the Obama Administration plans to open the "Executive Press Office." Working like the Associated Press, it would take together different journalists and would distribute independent articles and interviews.
"This is really about the media in the twenty first century." an assistant to Gibbs told AFP. "With all of the distortions and mischaracterizations, the President cannot afford to be distracted while he is working on his agenda to help America."
Shortly after the EPO is slated to begin operations, it will open its own newspaper. At first the paper would be distributed in Washington, New York, Los Angeles, and Obama's hometown of Chicago. However, within a year it is expected to be distributed in every gas station and grocery store. It is expected that the paper will be subsidized by the federal government, and would be sold for little, or be offered for free.
"We see the decline of the newspaper industry." the aide continued. "With the opening of this newspaper, we can involve many more people, especially the youth. These are the citizens of the future, and if they're not informed, then it is a disservice to the United States."
There are also plans to create an independent news channel. While the name for this has not been determined, it will be run from Washington and northern Virginia. It is yet unknown if many conservatives will be included in the lineups or guest panels.
"Of course there will be conservatives [on the network]. Many conservative Republicans see the President's agenda and agree with it with open arms. It's been evident for a while that the fringe of the party has had its own soapbox for years. Between FoxNews and Rush Limbaugh, the Democratic viewpoint was almost silenced."
The newspapers and television channels will also be available in many countries around the world. They will be translated and are intended to be an "information bridge" to extend a sort of open-hand to the rest of the world.