The Press-1

It was fascinating to get a glimpse of what is behind the scenes of a highly documented event.  The news is presented to us as an actual event, at a certain time and place, with a commentary on people’s actions or reactions.  In my previous post I observed there was a construction to this event that was outside the spectator’s control.

Before they let us in to the event, I waited in the crowd’s crush during that early hour and listened to people talking around me.  A group of three had arrived before anyone else, and after a crowd gathered, they were moved by the police who were pushing back all who were front and center.  It did not matter that they had come first and this irritated them.  After the police called for the invitation holders to come forward and we watched person after person push by, the three took matters into their own hands and forged their way forward, disappearing into the front of the crowd.

Yes, there were many people who thought that they would be in the front row, or quite near, near enough to see the whites of Obama’s eyes.  But no, this section was reserved and there was a buffer of policemen between the A-list and the peanut gallery.  The media also got their own special section, so they could document the event from the best vantage point.  The rows and rows of massive lenses seemed like a machine working as one unit; this media machine even had a tireless arm to regulary pan over the crowd for the live video feed.

Today, I found out about a news source I had never heard of before: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.  Their mission statement: “RFE/RL’s mission is to promote democratic values and institutions by reporting the news in countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. Our journalists provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.”  I will confess, I get tired of reading the news because it always seems to be from a conservative or a liberal slant.  I think RFE/RL will prove to be a good source for world news; their reporting is accurate, well-informed, and is not written with a political party’s interest in mind.

Brian Whitmore reports on Obama’s European tour and clearly explains the goal of Obama’s trip, how he was received, and whether or not this trip will be effective in bringing the US, Europe, and Russia onto the same page.  He writes, “By nearly all accounts, Obama’s trip, with its town-hall meetings, open-air speeches, and chummy photo ops, was a triumph of public diplomacy. But analysts say the president’s success in translating his considerable popularity abroad into more substantial international support for U.S. priorities is limited by real and deep divergences of interests between the United States and its European partners — not to mention with rivals like Russia.”  I recommend you read the entire article here.