Fewer Reporters, More Coverage for President

112242425425In a cost-cutting move, the press flights covering President Obama are dwindling in frequency and fliers, according to The New York Times. Big media companies like ABC and USA Today are trimming their budgets and allowing the other news outlets to cover the stories without them.

With The White House on social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, there is less reason for the press to spend about $18 million each year globetrotting in his shadow to cover his stories. ABC News, for example, is questioning the financial savvy of spending $2,000 for a seat on a chartered press plane for flights in the US, when they can pick up the story from the wire services or other “reliable” sources for much less – or free. International flights run in the tens of thousands, and penny-pinching media moguls have now cut them from their budgets whenever possible.

The President’s recent treaty signing in Prague with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yielded no press plane tagging along. Instead, there was only the select group flying on Air Force One to share their news with the rest of us.

While some news agencies are concerned about the quality of the remaining media coverage, it seems there is no shortage of the President’s business trips on the Internet. It may not be the refined, hard news we are accustomed to seeing, but his policies and behavior are still under a high quality microscope.

In fact, a quick click on The White House website presents the official White House blog, up-to-date press briefings, speeches and President Obama’s weekly address. There is plenty of live coverage for anyone who wants to see it. With all of that information at everyone’s fingertips, it’s clear that the public coverage of the President is likely growing, not shrinking – it’s just a matter of how much money news agencies are spending to get it.

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