Obama campaign selling Chicago election night coverage packages to news outlets

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacNut, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #1
    WASHINGTON---The Obama campaign is putting a hefty price tag on the best camera and reporting positions for news organizations covering Barack Obama's outdoor election night activities in downtown Chicago. If a reporter wants access to the file center--which will be the best place to find Obama officials and spokesmen--be prepared to write a check for $935. The cheapest place a reporter could stand on a riser with a view is $880.

    That $935 covers one reporter in a heated file tent, power, cable tv, internet and food. I am told by an Obama spokesman who did not want his name used that this just covers costs and they are not turning a profit on this. The planners could have built in more al a carte options for Grant Park coverage.
    http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2008/10/obama_campaign_selling_chicago.html
     
  2. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    That doesn't sound all that unreasonable. That's quite a bit to get set up for you in a park. I'm sure reporters can still show up and cover the event in any case. Keep in mind the campaign is setting this up, not the city.
     
  3. Anuba macrumors 68040

    Anuba

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    #3
    Well hey, it's a free market economy. Are you now complaining about the fact that Obama isn't a socialist? :p
     
  4. Peace macrumors P6

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    With all the money Obama has raised I disagree with this and I've let him know along with the local Obama headquarters.

    BIG mistake Barack.
     
  5. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    I don't know what the going price is for media credentials these days. Is this a normal practice or a money grab?

    I doubt that McCain would be able to pull this off.
     
  6. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    But this Election Night list is pricey and does not take into account some reporters won't need power, cable, internet or food but will crave the access more than the food. As I was talking to this unnamed spokesman about this enormously expensive set-up, he did say--that a news outlet could rotate people in and out of the tent on that one credential. Great.

    A general media area will be created where a reporter could watch for free, but the set-up is separate, unequal and clearly second class when it comes to getting top access to campaign people.

    The campaign could not have made going to the free space more unappealing. If will be "outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center."
     
  7. abijnk macrumors 68040

    abijnk

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    That's what I would like to know.

    I saw this story a couple days ago or so, and have been thinking about it a little. While it would be nice for the press to have free access. The thing that justifies it in my mind is that it isn't a press conference or a rally or a campaign event in the sense that it is for voters and press to pick Obama's brain and get to know him. It is a party... Plain and simple. It could end up being a celebration party, and that's why the press wants to be there. But I wouldn't necessarily think that they have a right to be there, least of all free of charge. That said, I do find it curious...
     
  8. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    Keep in mind if Obama wins there is going to be a HUGE amount of people gathered in Chicago. If he can fill mile high stadium for a speech he will fill the city of Chicago if he wins.

    It could also be a legal thing where his campaign isn't allowed to spend campaign money on private parties.

    If this is the case I understand.
     
  9. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Umm...excuse me if I got this wrong, but this is a rally/party is it not? It's not necessarily national news. I'm confused as to the surprise here. Doing things like this outside, especially in November is expensive.
     
  10. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    This will be on election night. So it would be news.
     
  11. iShater macrumors 604

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    You mean our donations are supposed to pay for the media to get front row tickets? :eek:
     
  12. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    Bingo- that's not why I donated.
     
  13. Peace macrumors P6

    Peace

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    I can say this much..

    My friend's friend from New York is in charge of the Presidential inauguration party if Obama wins and I've been invited.. I need to get a tuxedo and pass the Secret Service test..

    Since I don't fly I will be driving to Washington D.C.
    :D
     
  14. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #14
    More from the article.
     
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    This is BS. You don't charge for access to the campaign at any time, especially on election night. Bad move on their part.
     
  16. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    This amount of money is a pittance for major news organisations. There will be such a huge international demand for these spaces they'll have no problems filling them for a campaign event.

    On a day when it was reported that the GOP spent $150,000 on Sarah Palin's wardrobe, hairdressing and makeup, it seems a little silly to try and stoke outrage over something like this. It's standard practice to charge the media at the conventions as well for facilities.
     
  17. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    Here is the run down.
    I have never seen a press invoice so I don't know if these numbers are high or normal.
     
  18. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    ^I've been on the inside of organising conferences. All of the above is standard practice, especially when space is limited.
     
  19. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

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    Who usually eats the cost, does each media outlet always have to pay in or does the event organizer sometimes take care of it? The campaign is making so much money can't they eat all the cost?
     
  20. Cleverboy macrumors 65816

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    Honestly, we're finding out MORE details about campaigning than we ever have in this unprecedented election cycle. When I read this, the first thing I thought was "they need to separate 'serious' media organizations from other media groups". If he gets elected, the amount of people demanding "access" will be a FRENZY. Charging for access is one methodology that helps to identify serious groups, without necessarily showing favoritism (or making it completely random). I remember seeing O'Reilly getting absolutely PISSED that he couldn't get near Obama during one early event. That type of elbowing will only intensify at an event like this.

    I don't understand any outrage. This isn't about "privilege" its about "coordination". $900 is NOTHING. When there is LIMITED SPACE, you have to figure out who gets what. Period.

    ~ CB
     
  21. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    But being the possible president elect he has to have free access to the media.
     
  22. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    In conferences I've been involved with, albeit on a much smaller scale, virtually everything gets charged for, right down to food and drink. The scale of markups is often high. This isn't a story; it's an attempt to whip up fake outrage in order to prove some nebulous point.

    I hate to think what the city is charging the campaign just for insurance, let alone the cost of policing the event.
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

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    I guess the question is whether or not the reporters will have "minders" who will corral them Palin-style if they try to question anyone in the crowd or actually ask Obama or Biden any questions...
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

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    OTOH, if whomever is organizing the event is anxious to have the media cover the event, they not only do not charge, they provide perks like free food.
     
  25. jplan2008 macrumors regular

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    Of course he's giving and will give free access to the media. In your link above:

    "Credentials to access the General Media Area are available at no cost. Please note that the General Media Area is outdoors, unassigned and may have obstructed views. General Media Area credentials do not include access to riser positions, satellite truck parking or the press filing center."

    These costs seem on the pricey side but not outrageous. I think it's too bad that it's harder for smaller organizations/publications, but that's the way it works out the daily briefing at the White House, where only the biggies even get credentials. With the Youtube generation, it's also easier for anyone to get their "news" out there. And with the free credentials combined, several smaller organizations can split the "first class" accommodations and rotate, if the idea is to have access to the campaign staff for interviews or whatever.
     

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