Why should Barack Obama grant an exclusive interview to the FT(Financial Times)?

FT obama exclusive.jpg

Sometimes, you get two unrelated emails which make you think ..

Today, got two such emails:

The first from the financial times alerting me to an ‘exclusive’ interview with Barack Obama to be published on Monday in London. The second is from a blogger called Lynn Marentette who commented on one of my earlier posts about Business models for Open Mobile/Converged media: Converged services based on Attention and metadata ..

Let’s start with the FT email .. A Financial Times Exclusive!

Barack Obama talks to the FT

In Monday’s FT, don’t miss Barack Obama’s first interview with a global publication. As Tim Geithner launches his regulatory overhaul, the US president talks to FT editor Lionel Barber about the global downturn, his government’s response so far and potential future strategies.

Now, this made me think ..

Would it not be better for Barack Obama to NOT do an exclusive.

How many people will read it?

The FT is now very expensive. The online content is also paid for. Hardly the most far reaching way to get the message out

Now one would argue that the FT has good analysis .. That, it may have i.e. its reporters are knowledgeable..

But with all due respect – when I look at the credit crunch .. No one predicted it .. Not even the great financial publications like the FT.

Hence, today I take any such mainstream analysis with considerable cynicism

What’s the solution?

Don’t give the ‘exclusives’ to the big media folk

Open up the process

Ask for questions in advance

Choose the best ones/recurring themes

Barack Obama’s team should post the responses online

Then … this is the important part .. Ask for analysis from everyone (including the FT) which should all be posted / summarised online

This would be very significant, inclusive and would give more insights rather than just an ‘exclusive’ to the financial times ..

Which brings me to the second email from Lynn Marentette. I had a quick look at her blog Interactive Multimedia Technology and it is very interesting indeed.

The blog says:

This blog focuses on how interactive technology can support collaboration, communication, and engaged learning. It also touches on ways technology can support intervention & prevention efforts in health, mental health, and related fields. You’ll find information about interactive touch screen applications, HCI, universal usability and accessibility, Universal Design for Learning, serious games, and innovations. Enter a term or phrase in the search box to find something that interests you!

And what surprised me is she is a ‘School psychologist’ (I must admit I am not 100% sure what that means ..) – but clearly from the blog very interested in wireless sensor networks, embedded systems etc and as she says lately, further motivated by the two weeks I spent with my father in the ICU.

I correlate this to another open feedback that the EU requested about the Internet of things – the results of which you can see HERE

These are useful of course .. But incestuous .. And by that I mean .. It’s the same groups of people(companies like Nokia, SAP etc) and researchers(including me wearing a research hat).

I was thinking it may be a better idea to get a more holistic perspective i.e. people who are not the usual suspects.

That’s what I mean by the insights from people like Lynn Marentette, working as a school psychologist – but clearly interested in the subject, who are not a part of the traditional community can be more useful in many ways ..

A lesson for Mr Obama perhaps before the next such exclusive for the big media guys ..

Today, there is no reason for government to favour big media – and I truly believe that politicians will get a better response from opening up the discussion and seeking a two way feedback.