Obama and Media: The Mystery

Empire goes to Washington DC to demystify the relationship between political power and the media in the US.

US President Barack Obama has more power over the death of people in the Middle East than he does over the lives of Americans.

Empire goes to Washington to ask why he has not spoken to the Arab people, through the Arab press, since 2009.

First stop is the White House, to find out what actually happens at the nexus of power and the media. Then we speak with leading journalists from Arab television news to discover what their experience with President Obama and his administration is like.

Is their experience particular and peculiar? Empire moves on, to talk to members of the foreign press from Europe, India, Russia, Australia, and China. It is astonishing that Obama, who came into office promising a new era of openness and transparency, is now being called the worst president for the press in modern times, prosecuting both journalists and whistleblowers in record numbers.

Empire sits down with James Risen, the most important investigative reporter that the NY Times has, who could be facing prison, to find out what it is like to be an American reporter in times like these.

The reality is, that it is a struggle from both side, the journalists knocking at the gates, and the people inside charged with managing the message and defending the realm. To really understand, we had to hear from the insiders as well.

That was yesterday and today, what of the future? We went to Columbia School of Journalism to find out what the reporters of tomorrow want and expect.