State of the Union - media access to speech

I find it annoying that they pan to the people that Obama is about to talk about… before he talks about them. How many people get a copy of his speech beforehand? How long has this practice of handing the speech out in advance been going out? Is this an American thing or do other countries do it as well?

That said, great speech so far.

Boehner has a better tan than Obama.

Oompa Loompas are always envious.

On the NBC coverage that I watched, they also had text graphics of key points in the speech at the moment Obama said them, which was just bloody distracting. But even worse were texted comments from reporters that popped up while he was speaking, like I needed them telling me how it was going.

But yeah, it was a great speech.

How long has it been going on? Decades. Reporters are given advance copies of all sorts of speeches, written testimonies, legislative drafts, etc. so they can talk about them immediately (and so directors can set up their reaction shots.) Actually quoting the text is considered a violation of the agreement.

If you’re wondering what happens when advance copies aren’t distrbuted, watch Jackie Judd and Jeffrey Toobin try to explain the Bush v. Gore decision on live TV.

Jeez, I cringed when watching that! But I don’t think it’s quite the same thing. They were trying to simultaneously read and interpret an SC decision that was just released. In the case of the SOTU, it’s just a simple speech.

I am curious as to who and how many people get it. Does every fringe media outlet get it, or a select group? Does the opposition response also get released?

I’m assuming that the group known as the White House Press Corps get it. That comprises pretty much every major news organization operating in America.

That’s also a much smaller group than accredited White House correspondents, which number about 2000. The difference is that the Press Corps get to sit in the press room and ask questions during press conferences. The rest gain access to the huge number of people in Congress and the Executive Office.

There is also a White House Correspondents Association, a separate body.

Thanks Exapno. It seems to me that it’s a disservice to a president that can deliver a great address through the proper emphasis, facial expression and gestures. The press can pick apart the words without capturing the feel. It is great for fact checking, though.

If you use the World Wide Web, you can get it a few hours before, maybe even earlier

So what happens when the President strays from his speech? Or hasn’t this happened for decades?

Happens all the time with many speeches and events.

In fact, in the case of less important speeches or events or reports, PR people will often send out “embargoed” advance notice of something that will be announced or presented, so they can know what to talk about or even work on the story in advance. They just can’t release a story before the embargo ends - if they do, they’ll be cut out of future advance notice by that source, and probably by others who won’t trust them.