Slate’s John Dickerson tweeted news that the administration has “revitalized the press release…with the launch of Recovery.gov.”
The site sub-head reads “Your Money at Work” and includes the following mission statement:
- Education: Explain the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act;
- Transparency: Show how, when, and where the money is spent;
- Accountability: Provide data that will allow citizens to evaluate the Actâ€™s progress and provide feedback.
Now, I think characterizing this as a press release may be a bit of a stretch, but the new site does serve a comparable purpose, i.e., to announce news. In this case, however, the White House press office treats the people and the press equitably vis Ã vis timing, sort of a Reg FD for government, and does so with aplomb.
I don’t think the Obama-ites have totally given up on issuing standard news releases. Just yesterday, the Recovery.gov site announced that White House photographer, Pete DeSouza, put up a photo gallery of the President working his way through the recovery. The brief announcement linked to a blog post containing the images with added context, and was titled:
“The story of the economic recovery package (photos)”
The new site/”press release” also features a video (embedded via Vimeo) of President Obama speaking directly to site visitors, and a section called “Accountability and Transparency” that reads:
This is your money. You have a right to know where it’s going and how it’s being spent. Learn what steps we’re taking to ensure you can track our progress every step of the way.
Finally, it cleverly solicits Americans to “Share Your Recovery Story” through a simple form that also serves as a conduit to complie even more names for the administration’s growing (d-to-c) database of U.S. voters. (I’m assuming those under 18 will not be sharing their “recovery” stories.)
For some reason, I can’t imagine the Bushies ever doing this.