Obama goes to Eugene

Since I’ve been a kid, Oregon has never really played a big role in the presidential general election — with the primaries being even less important. However with the current Hilary vs Obama situation on our hands this go-round, it seems like everyone is getting a little attention. Well, Obama announced a trip to Oregon early last week and on Friday he flew into Portland and then made the jont down to Eugene to speak at the University of Oregon.
Upon hearing the news, my ace multimedia reporter immediately called me and asked if she could go. I also wanted to go, but we had a photographer going and two reporters as well. (This is a constant battle between balancing reporters, photographers and videographers with the amount of press passes we get but that is a whole other post.)

Luckily we were all able to get in. I decided I would straight film the entire speech with my colleague shooting the speech gorilla-style to get an audience perspective. He spoke at 9 p.m. which meant that the speech wasn’t over until 10:30 p.m. We got back to our newsroom around 11 p.m. and seriously worked until 4 a.m. to get the video online. Long freaking night. But we were able to post a short five-minute version of the speech done documentary style and the entire, unedited speech online before any of the TV stations or big commercial newspaper were able to get it up.

I think we did a fairly good job but I just wanted to point out one funny thing. The two news outlets that posted the highest quality video of the speech in its entirety was us (the Oregon Daily Emerald) and The Register-Guard (the biggest newspaper in Eugene). The three commercial TV stations in town posted low-quality versions, and edited clips a day late. I think its funny that with newspapers pioneering online web video, TV news hasn’t quite gotten the hang of the whole internet video thing.

What do you think of the coverage?

Michael Calcagno is currently a journalism student at the University of Oregon. He serves as online editor for the Oregon Daily Emerald. He oversees the structure and design of dailyemerald.com and also oversees the multimedia staff to provide original content for the Web.


  1. Michael – greets from out by Churchill HS ;)

    I think your analysis in your last paragraph speaks volumes about just how bad the local TV news is here in Eugene. I quit watching it over four years ago, but do catch myself peering at it just to see what’s changed – the only change I have seen is that it has gotten worse from my POV (sorta like peering at a car wreck on the side of the road)

    I cut my teeth at the ODE back in the mid-late 80’s and I look back on that time with fond memories. It was a great learning experience and that experience helped me get my first photo internship at the Springfield News.

    Now I’m trying the freelance Solo VJ for the web gig and I don’t envy those who are still entrenched in shoulder mount multi-person news production crews – newspapers and their agile Solo VJ’s are going to show TV what its about with regards to accurate, timely and engaging video content.

    Cliff Etzel – Solo Video Journalist

  2. all the tv folk here stream live to web, which kinda beats us… obama was here earlier yesterday, we got part 1 of his speech online early this morning(i’m a 1 man band pretty much) and got the rest up this morning.

    i think it just really depends on the market on how the tv and newspapers compare. i’m in a top 50 market so that makes it some pretty feirce competition.

  3. Michael – I do agree some TV stations know what they’re doing. I guess it is true that not all TV stations, nor newspapers quite know what to do yet with all these internets out there. I do think that newspapers should and will be able to post higher quality video and longer, more interesting video pieces simply because TV is constrained by a broadcast time frame.

    Cliff – I have to agree with you: Eugene TV news is pretty awful. They’re trying too hard to copy a big city news market. After doing solo video journalism for more than 2 years I really could image having a reporter, photographer and editor all working on my project. I think one-person bands will be the wave of the future regardless TV or newspapers — let’s just hope there starts to be a little more money in it! But like I said above, I think newspapers should beat out TV eventually. Down the line the Internet should be so ubiquitous and fast that TV will just come over our computers and stand on equal platform with newspaper sites. That is a little ways off though.