Reuters Editors

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from For the Record:

After the warm glow, telling the cold, hard truths

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dean-150Dean Wright is Global Editor, Ethics, Innovation and News Standards. Any opinions are his own.

The president was inaugurated in front of adoring crowds and positive reviews in the media. As the unpopular incumbent sat on the platform with him, the new Democratic chief executive took office as the nation faced a crippling economic crisis. The incoming president was a charismatic figure who had run a brilliant campaign and had handled the press with aplomb. The media were ready to give him a break.

That was 1933, and in Franklin Roosevelt’s case, the media gave him a break.

For Barack Obama, the honeymoon was shorter.

Less than 36 hours after Obama took the oath of office, the White House denied news photographers access to the new president’s do-over swearing in, instead releasing official White House photos of the event. Reuters, The Associated Press and Agence France-Presse protested and refused to distribute the official photos (which nevertheless showed up on the websites of a number of large U.S. newspapers).

This is an important issue for news organisations, the public and for an administration that has promised a new era of transparency in doing the people’s business. How are people to know, for example, that the official photos haven’t been staged?

A Perfect Storm: Politics, Babies, Bloggers and a Hurricane

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Sarah PalinIt has certainly been a busy — and historic — week for journalists in the United States. We love big stories, and we got them. We love surprises, and we got them.

In Denver, the Democrats nominated the first African-American candidate of a major party, while orchestrating a clockwork convention designed to show unity after a divisive primary campaign.

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