State Of The Union And Social Media
Reaching Out Through Different Platforms
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President Obama will deliver his seventh State of the Union address Tues. night.
There are a number of talking points on the agenda that will affect South Dakotans, including the president’s proposal for free community college, tax credits for low and middle income Americans, and improving internet connection in rural areas. But as TV viewership continues to decline, will anyone be watching?
The TV viewership numbers could be a problem for the president as he attempts to reach millions of Americans through a screen. That’s why his administration is now turning to social media and online streaming to hopefully appeal to a larger audience.
“Of course I’ll be watching,” said Nathaniel Cacy, SDSU junior.
Cacy has big plans for Pres. Obama’s State of the Union address.
“We’ll be streaming it tonight actually with the college dems. I’m part of the college dems here at SDSU so we’re all getting a group of people together, hopefully about 50 or so,” said Cacy.
But according to Cacy, most of his peers at South Dakota State University aren’t as eager to tune in to the president’s speech.
“I’m not like overly interested in politics right now. I’m more interested in getting all my stuff done for school,” said Lindsey Mohrland, SDSU freshman.
“Depends how much homework I have,” said Samantha Smidt, SDSU freshman.
“The younger population is the least politically engaged. I think it’s due largely because they have so many other distractions and interests in that point in life,” said Dr. Bob Burns, former SDSU Political Science Prof.
In an effort to reach a greater audience, possibly a younger one, the Obama Administration has been reaching out through social media leading up to the State of the Union address.
Some students say it’s too difficult to get access to a TV on campus. That’s why they say they’d rather stream the speech on a computer or a mobile device.
Dr. Burns says he thinks this strategy will work on younger audiences.
“At the end of the day the American people will have as good of an understanding of the message as they did in the earlier years when it had a larger TV audience,” said Dr. burns.
And students seem to agree.
“You can look it up afterwards and look up what they talked about and not even have to watch it then,’ said Mohrland.
“If I can catch it on the way home in my car or on my phone or at work on my tablet, hopefully they’ll watch it,” said Cacy.
Last year more than one million people watched the State of the Union speech by streaming it online, and that number is expected to increase this year. You can stream the speech by visiting whitehouse.gov.