YouTube to carry Obama’s weekly address to Americans

US President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to speak to Americans not just through the traditional weekly radio address, but also via YouTube.

The weekly YouTube address is Obama’s latest use of new media in politics and governance.

Obama is set to post his first weekly address as President-elect via YouTube today, according to a CNet report, which said that “delivering the radio addresses via online video is a logical step for the first president elected in the era of YouTube. The Obama campaign uploaded more than 1,800 videos to its YouTube page”.

The Obama White House is also planning to conduct video Q&As and video interviews, said a Washington Post report.

change.gov

Valerie Jarett, co-chair of Obama’s presidential transition team, meanwhile has posted a YouTube update on the preparations for the new US leader’s assumption to office:

Obama’s team has set up the website change.gov to inform Americans about the transition and to invite them to take part in it. Its About page said that

[the] website will be your source for the latest news, events, and announcements so that you can follow the setting up of the Obama Administration. And just as this historic campaign was, from the beginning, about you — the transition process will offer you opportunities to participate in redefining our government.

Downside

The New York Times meanwhile also reports about what may be considered as the “most extensive, if not most invasive” application forms ever produced by a presidential transition team:

A seven-page questionnaire being sent by the office of President-elect Barack Obama to those seeking cabinet and other high-ranking posts may be the most extensive — some say invasive — application ever.

The questionnaire includes 63 requests for personal and professional records, some covering applicants’ spouses and grown children as well, that are forcing job-seekers to rummage from basements to attics, in shoe boxes, diaries and computer archives to document both their achievements and missteps.

Only the smallest details are excluded; traffic tickets carrying fines of less than $50 need not be reported, the application says. Applicants are asked whether they or anyone in their family owns a gun. They must include any e-mail that might embarrass the president-elect, along with any blog posts and links to their Facebook pages.

The application also asks applicants to “please list all aliases or ‘handles’ you have used to communicate on the Internet.”

Read the whole NYT report here and the seven-page questionnaire here.

Obama takes his oath as US president on Jan. 20, 2009.

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