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President Obama Election 2008: Collection of Newspaper Front Pages by the…

by The Poynter Institute

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
'Presdient Obama election 2008: a collection of newspaper front pages selected by the Poynter Institute' is an interesting window into a historic moment in time, when America elected their first black president, and the way the American people responded to it.

The introduction provides a fascinating insight into the role of newspapers as an historical artifact. In an era where most news is being sought online, and most people found out the election result online, the American people responded to the historic election of Barack Obama to the Presidency by going out in droves and buying newspapers. So much so that many newspapers had to run large extra printings to satisfy demand, some papers trebled the price for the day, and other papers are even now being sold at inflated prices in online auctions. It is a curious testament to the psychological place occupied by the physical artifact of the newspaper as proof of the reality of a moment in time. A physical memento which proves that it happened, and you were there. Something which can be kept and shown to future generations.

Almost as fascinating as this phenomenon is the difference between coverage from one paper to another. Each front page is accompanied by the details of where the newspaper is based and a brief explanation to put the content of the page in context. It is immensely useful for those outside the United States that this collection contextualises the approach taken by the different papers, and the insight that this provides into the American socio-political landscape is one of the highlights of this collection.

The inclusion of international newspapers was also important in acknowledging the impact that this election had on the world, in an international climate which was growing uneasy with the effects of the Bush administration on the international landscape. The international community appeared to be equally concerned with the result in terms of demonstrating how America were really coping with the issue of racism, and how America would proceed in response to the growing economic crisis. The international community were represented with 10 papers, ranging from the very minor to the national. As an Australian I was very surprised to see Australian newspapers represented by the almost insignificant Albury-Wodonga 'Border Mail' (with a circulation of 25,000) rather than the national newspaper The Australian, which I assume was to demonstrate the range of newspapers covering the Historic result, from the National papers with high circulation to the lowly local paper. Europe was represented by papers from Austria, Belgium, England, Poland and Spain. Again I was surprised that 'The Daily Telegraph', a tabloid newspaper of dubious quality, was chosen to represent England rather than The Times. It does however feature a very nice political cartoon on the cover based on the electoral result, which was itself worth including. Asia was represented by a Japanese and an Indonesian newspaper, the Jakarta paper playing on Obama's Indonesian connection. The Middle East is represented by an Israeli paper from Tel Aviv and Africa is represented by the Kenyan 'Daily Nation'. South America is represented by the El Colombiano newspaper, and Canada is represented by 'Le journal de Montreal'.

This collection will make an historical artifact itself, capturing the moment when American voters made history by electing their first black president, which will be as useful to those who went out in droves and bought the paper on the 5th of November 2008 as the papers themselves. It will also provide a fabulous resource for school libraries who can use this collection of source documents to support studies of current American politics and society. ( )
  Merriwyn | Jul 28, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This book in the format of a magazine offers a selection of newspaper frontpages featuring the newly elected President Barack Obama. While there is not much text (in fact, an intodruction to the book and a very short note accompagnying every pictured front page is all you will find), this is a valuable documentation of current affairs. Recommended for media scientists, sociologist, historians and of course, Obamas fans.
  elenasimona | Jul 27, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I was so pleased to have received this book from Early Reviewers, what a wonderful piece of history. It was fascinating to read all the newspaper clips from around the world and it is a book I will treasure for always. ( )
  Teresa40 | Jul 10, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This glossy, pretty collection of newspaper front pages lacks just a few details that would've made it great. First, if they're going to market it as a keepsake, I would like to see it in hardback. Paperback just doesn't say collectible to me. Second, they've included papers from nearly every single state, so why not every one? Excluding nine of fifty states seems a bit negligent. Adding nine more state papers and a few more international papers would've made this collection seem more complete. Finally, there seemed to be a small amount of pixelation/graininess (which most people would not notice and is most likely nitpicking on my part) on the front cover and some interior pages that should have been fixed prior to publication, if possible.

Now for the positive. The size works well. It's neither cumbersomely big, nor too small to make out details. The captions found on every page bring attention to the unique attributes of each cover. The introduction by G. B. Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury, is well-written, classy, and interesting. The concept is excellent and, with a few revisions, this would've been an excellent book. ( )
  The_Kat_Cache | Feb 21, 2009 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Review by Erik Burgeson

President Obama Election 2008: A Collection of Newspaper Front Pages Selected by the Poynter Institute

As I opened the pages of this book, I was brought back to the moment when I was watching MSNBC and Keith Olbermann declared that NBC was calling the election for Barack Obama. Although I had already guessed the outcome, I still felt a penetrating surge of emotion at the announcement. While not the same feeling, I did sense an emotional surge when paging through the headlines and front pages of the newspapers featured in this book. The volume itself does not quite meet the standards I would ascribe to a “coffee table book” which is what this book aspires to be. Having said that, the book presents a great variety of newspapers with various headlines, some inspiring and some less so. Variations on the “Yes, he did” headline are thankfully scarce. The most moving headlines were often from foreign newspapers or the independent (and often free-for-distribution) newspapers. My vote for most original depiction of Obama’s victory is from LEO (p. 29) which features a picture of Obama photo-shopped onto a penny with the headline “Change” superimposed over a pile of coins. My second favorite is from the Williamette Weekly (p. 51) shows the Obama campaign graphic circle with field of red and whites stripes as the O in “O[h], Yeah!” The circle is then dived to look like a pie chart featuring various reasons why voters may have gone for Obama. This headline is best understood by viewing as it is very difficult to adequately describe. This book is definitely a collector’s item, but it may not excite those of you who are not complete political geeks like I am or who do not have the same feelings about this election as other more impassioned voters might.

Erik Burgeson
January 21, 2009 ( )
1 vote eburgeson | Feb 2, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0740784803, Paperback)

The presidential campaign of 2008 was one of the most intense and closely-followed races in US politics. Moments after the presidential election was called for Barack Obama across televisions and computer screens (and probably sooner), editors at newspapers around the world began framing some of the most significant front pages in history.

President Obama: Election 2008 is a collection of over 75 November 5th, 2008 newspaper front pages from around the world, including international, campus, and ethnic newspapers. There is no better statement of the emotion, excitement and significance of this historic event. Compiled by The Poynter Institute, a non-profit school for journalists, this book will be a cherished keepsake or gift for any of the millions of Americans who cast their vote for the 44th President of the United States.

A Look Inside President Obama: Election 2008, with an Introduction by Garry Trudeau

In the real world, as a matter of record, there isn't much dancing in the streets. Setting aside sanctioned festivals, it's mostly just a figure of speech, especially when used predictively (see "Iraq, invasion of").

Election Day, November 4, 2008, was different.

That night, Baltimore Avenue in Philadelphia was clogged with a jubilant mob boogying with abandon, banging pots and pans in time with horn blasts from engulfed cars. In Kisumu, thousands of Kenyans shimmied in the streets, singing, kissing, thumping on drums in such an unalloyed outpouring of euphoria that the government was moved to declare a national holiday. In Seattle, a club turned its speakers into the street, blasting a beat for the enormous dance party that rocked downtown. In Jakarta, schoolchildren hugged and danced in the pouring rain. In New Haven, hundreds of Yale students, mad with joy, spontaneously poured from their rooms and converged on a campus green, where they formed an enormous circle of celebration. And in Manhattan, Broadway was quickly cordoned off as thousands of New Yorkers streamed south toward the lights, dancing, shouting, overcome by a big, bold blast of history, the kind that filled up Times Square on V-J Day.

And then the next day, after the street parties were over, people went out and did something many of them hadn't done in years: They bought newspapers.

Yes, newspapers.

By the trainload, actually. The Washington Post printed up 30,000 extra copies; they sold out instantly. So they ordered another 150,000 copies, then raised it to 250,000, then eventually 700,000—offered at triple the usual cover price. In Los Angeles, the Times printed up an extra 107,000, but they were gone in an instant. Outside their downtown offices, a line of customers formed around the block. Two days later, it was still there. Meanwhile, The New York Times put an extra 250,000 papers on the street, but individual copies still popped up on eBay for $200 apiece. And at last count, USA Today had printed 380,000 additional copies, with online sales still brisk.

All those folks scrambling for copies weren't just interested in election returns, obviously. They could, after all, get the details from TV or the Internet, and probably already had—maybe even from their local newspaper's Web site. But what they couldn't get was the crisp, tactile, iconic artifact that is a daily newspaper— that tangible proof that something big had really happened. The morning-after newspaper, with the huge headlines reserved for historic events, continues to be seen as the indispensable keepsake—one that can forever evoke and refresh a deeply consequential memory.

To our industry, it was a glorious day and no doubt will be recalled fondly. It seems doubtful, with newspapers inexorably losing their place in public life, that we will see many more like it. But on November 5, 2008, for one day, we became a nation of newspaper consumers again. Across the country, editors were breaking out the 72-point type, and the public couldn’t get enough of it.

This collection of front pages evolved from that continuing excitement, and part of its great appeal is that it allows readers to vicariously experience the same ringing event from many vantage points. Each newspaper had its own particular cultural or geographic perspective, so while the basic lead ("Obama wins!") was the same everywhere, there was considerable variation in the framing. For Hawaiian readers, for instance, it was a hometown-boy-makes-good story. For Atlanta, with its civil rights legacy, the story is the ultimate triumph of social justice. In The Arizona Republic, John McCain's home newspaper, the smiling winner shares the front page with a gracious loser.

To look at these disparate front pages in sequence is to grasp the enormity of Barack Obama's dream of bringing a fractious country together. But the overriding tone of elation and pride suggests he's off to a pretty good start.

Did I mention there was dancing in the streets?

--Garry Trudeau

A New Era: Excerpts from President Obama Election 2008


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:35 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Reproduces front pages from newspapers in the United States--including daily, national, ethnic, college, and alternative papers--and around the world announcing the results of the 2008 presidential election and Senator Barack Obama's victory.

» see all 2 descriptions

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