Earlier this week, CP web editor Neal Santos ran into President-elect Barack Obama while he was working out and filed a quick blog post about the encounter, noting offhand that Obama was listening to a Zune, the Microsoft device launched to compete against Apple's iPod. That small detail set off a wave of coverage worldwide, from tech blogs to mainstream outlets like the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. "Zunegate" was born, City Paper was flooded with traffic, the site had to come down for 20 minutes or so, and Santos felt the need to post a clarification the next day. "I want to correct what I said yesterday about Obama using a Zune," he wrote. "I claimed that it was his Zune. I don't know for sure that it was his. It could belong to one of the many Secret Service dudes that were at the gym, Michelle, or even one of his daughters."

Continue ReadingPhiladelphia City Paper Sets the ‘Net Ablaze with Obama/Zune Report

Today the Sunshine in Government Initiative (SGI) is urging the administration of President-elect Barack Obama to take four immediate, concrete steps to strengthen open government. The coalition of media organizations that includes AAN is pressing the administration to restore the presumption of disclosure across the executive branch; create an independent, online FOIA ombudsman; ban agencies from proposing or endorsing unnecessary statutory exemptions from disclosure; and speak on the record in all policy statements and current news about public matters. "These actions would show President-elect Obama intends to fulfill his pledge to restore open government in Washington," SGI coordinator Rick Blum says in a release.

Continue ReadingEnsure Openness, Media Groups Tell Obama Administration

An informal email survey and website scan of AAN's 123 American papers finds that 57 have made presidential endorsements this year, and all of them are endorsing Barack Obama. It marks quite a difference from 2000, when a similar survey found alt-weeklies' endorsements evenly split between Al Gore and Ralph Nader. Many papers choose not to endorse, for a variety of reasons, but some of those papers jumped into the fray for the first time this year.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Resoundingly Say: Vote Obama