Black Media in the White House

President Obama's outreach is truly to all Americans

On Feb. 9, I achieved the career milestone of interviewing President Barack Obama — his first magazine Q&A. In the 15-minute phone interview, we talked about the prospects of his multi-prong economic agenda and his administration’s plans to bolster small business. That same day, I had a seat in the East Room of the White House alongside scores of print, broadcast, and online journalists as part of the president’s first news conference. Last week, on March 24, I was once again in the East Room for the president’s second news conference — this time seated in the front row, almost close enough to touch the presidential seal embossed on the podium. After Obama addressed his “blueprint for America’s future” — job creation through renewable energy; a competitive workforce that’s a byproduct of a qualitative education system; and affordable healthcare for all — I answered the stream of congratulatory e-mails from friends and colleagues. Yes, it was another great moment for Black Enterprise.

Since those events, I received a few calls from my brethren in the media, including Politico.com, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and, most recently, BBC News. The question I received from the BBC was similar to those asked by other media outlets: “Why would President Obama grant an interview with your publication and not The New York Times, a publication for all people?” I told the interviewer that he gave Black Enterprise the interview because he recognized the importance and influence of our audience.

Since my conversation with the president, my press interviews have focus more broadly on why Obama “has embraced” black media. My take is that President Obama is staying true to his message of creating a more inclusive America, which has been reflected in the make-up of his cabinet and White House staff as well as the outreach to media. In addition to Ebony, Essence, NNPA and Howard University’s Hilltop – all publications that have gained access to news conferences, press briefings and, in some cases, direct access to the nation’s chief executive — Obama has reached out to Latino media and regional publications. Since taking office, he has also given interviews to every major media outlet including the evening news anchors of CBS, NBC, ABC, and CNN. The President is interested in gaining the ears of as many Americans as possible.

Obama is in the process of remaking government like no other president since FDR’s New Deal, Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Deal, and Ronald Reagan’s Conservative Movement. He realizes that times of crisis require unconventional modes of communication. No president so early in his term have entertained the public’s questions at Town Hall meetings. Last week, he took the unprecedented step of giving American citizens the opportunity of asking questions via the Whitehouse.gov Website. He didn’t go on the Tonight Show to yuck it up with Jay Leno; he used the appearance as a vehicle to share his visions and policies with the widest possible audience.

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  • http://www.deniseleeporter.net Denise Lee

    Nice article. I have to admire the way that Obama is taking it to the people, he’s bringing government to us in the places that we frequent. We don’t have to search for what’s going on, it’s in our Inbox, on Twitter, in the blogosphere. Very savvy guy, but we knew that.

  • Pingback: Black Media in the White House: A Move to the Mainstream | BlackNewsTribune.com

  • Samuel P.

    Very interesting….THough. I didn’t vote

  • http://pinmanworld2008 MARK PEREZ

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    ITS TIME WE HAVE A BLACK ISSUES, BLACK HISTORY REVIEW ROOM IN THE WHITE HOUSE, STARTING LOCAL AND CONTINUING GLOBAL, THIS WILL BE AN AWESOME WAY TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY AND DOCUMENT HISTORY AT THE SAME TIME, AND THANK YOU THANK YOU, THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT OBAMA FOR NOT FORGETTING THE TUSKEGEE AIRMEN IN YOUR 1ST INAUGURAL PRESIDENTIAL PARADE, THOSE 10 GENTLEMAN, WHICH YOU HAVE COURTED NOW DEFINITELY HAVE A PLACE OF RESPECTIN HISTORY BOTH BLACK AND IN WORLD HISTORY, BEING AN HONORARY TUSKEGEE AIRMEN MYSELF, PINMANWORLD THANKS YOU FOR RECOGNIZING THEIR FEATS OF SKILL TO HAVE NEVER LOST A BOMBER WHEN ESCORTING THE FIGHTING JETS IN THE WORLD WARS AND NOW STILL GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY THROUGH PERSONAL APPEARANCES, SPEECHES, AND CO-SPONSOR OF THE AVIATION ANGELS WHICH IS A 501C-3 WHICH TEACHES BOTH AFRICAN-AMERICAN BOYS AND GIRLS.AND YOUNG MEN AGES 14 AND OVER HOW TO FLY AND MAINTAIN AN AIRPLANE AND/OR A HELICOPTER, TO BE TRAINED TO BECOME FUTURE PILOTS, THANKS BROTHER ROBIN FOR A JOB WELL DONE, WE ARE EVEN RECOGNIZED IN CANADA WITH THE AVIATION ANGELS PROGRAM AS WELL, THIS IS AN EXCELLENT TOOL FOR MENTORING TODAY’S TEENAGERS AND AGO-TO-REFERENCE POINT TO UTILIZE IN PARTNERING THOSE IN A ONE-ON-ONE MENTORING PARTNERSHIP, OR GROWING BUSINESS RELATIONSHIPS, ANY ORGANIZATIONS, COMPANIES OR INDIVIDUALS WISHING TO PARTNER WITH US JUST SEND PINMANWORLD A QUICK NOTE OR A SNAIL MAIL MESSAGE, SO IT CAN BE ROUTED TO THE RIGHT DEPT TO MAKE THIS ALLIANCE A TRUE REALITY NOT A VIRTUAL REALITY,IT WAS QUITE POIGNANT AND HISTORICALLY SPEAKING BLACK THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA CHOSE THE WEEKEND OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING’S BIRTHDAY WEEKEND FOR HIS INAUGURATION DAY WEEKEND.

    YES WE CAN
    YES WE HAVE &
    YES WE SHALL IN JESUS’S MIGHTY NAME.

    AND THANKS FOR BEING “A POSITIVE PROFILE IN AMERICA” STARTING LOCALLY AND CONTINUING GLOBALLY AND CONGRATULATIONS IS IN ORDER TO FIRST LADY MICHELLE FOR BEATING THE WOLVES IN THE MARKETPLACE FOR EXPOSING ONE CERTAIN DOLL MAKER WHO WANTS TO CAPITALIZE ON THE NAME OF THE 2 FIRST FAMILY’S CHILDREN, THIS IS A PRIVATE PART OF FIRST LADY MICHELLE AND PRESIDENT OBAMA’S LIVES, AND SHOULD NOT BE OPEN TO INTERPRETATION, SO RESPECT THE FIRST LADY’S DECISION OF NOT ALLOWING MARKETERS TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF THE OBAMA GIRLS’ NAMES 1001,
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    WISHING YOU GOD’S BEST IN ALL OF YOUR ENDEAVORS

    PINMAN OUT

  • http://pinmanworld2008 MARK PEREZ

    PRESIDENT OBAMA PAINTS THE WHITE HOUSE BLACK, BLACK HISTORY MONTH
    CONGRATULATIONS FOR PRESIDENT BARAK OBAMA PAINTING THE WHITE HOUSE BLACK,

    WELCOME TO BLACK HISTORY MONTH AS WE GO TO ANOTHER LEVEL STARTING LOCALLY AND CONTINUING GLOBALLY IN THIS NEW DAY OF C.H.A.N.G.E.

    THE MARTIN LUTHER KING LIBRARY IN DC HAS ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL BE HOSTING THE BLACK FILM FESTIVAL WHICH STARTS THIS WEDNESDAY HONORING BLACK HISTORY MONTH
    AND THURSDAY IS PINMAN’S BIRTHDAY AND DAREL DILL’S BIRTHDAY WHAT YOU KNOW 2 POSITIVE BROTHERS BORN ON THE SAME DAY, WITH DIFFERENT YRS OF EXPERIENCE SHOULD YOU SEE HIM OR THEM ON LINE OR IN-PERSON YOU CAN SEND COMMENTS AND WELL WISHES TO PINMANWORLD, WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT THEY RECEIVE THE MESSAGES

    WISHING YOU GOD’S BEST IN ALL OF YOUR ENDEAVORS

    PINMANWORLD’S GLOBAL, AND NATIONAL MENTORING MOMENTS EDUCATIONAL ASSOCIATES

    THE POS TEAM 09