It is a new week and the new dawn is still exercising our minds.

Barack Obama’s election to the US presidency is, without doubt, a significant moment and provides plenty of reason for hope.

There is plenty to comment on, speculate about and analyse ahead of Mr Obama’s inauguration.

And yet I am beginning to wonder whether the coverage – particularly in the UK – is starting to outweigh the true extent of the significance.

Mr Obama’s elevation to the presidency will have an impact on the UK - we may even get a more equal special relationship (sic) this time around. But does it merit so much attention?

Browsing The Guardian’s on-line offerings today I was immediately struck by the amount of coverage concerning last week’s US elections.

From a hard news story on Obama’s apparent plan to use veto powers on some of the more contentious Bush policies, to the acerbic Charlie Brooker using his Monday column to talk about the election, US politics is dominating the front page.

There are plenty of other pieces, including a look at what Obama’s election means for science and the environment around the world, as well as an article on the Obamas visiting the Bush household (the White House) later today.

We’re also served up some speculation on whether Sarah Palin could or should run for the presidency in 2012.

What happens in the US is important to the UK – the economic trials and tribulations are proof of that.

Yet surely we have now moved into the realm of overkill?

There are plenty of other important stories around, some of which even originate in the UK (and I’m not talking about lewd radio broadcasts or who got voted off any given reality TV show).

Something tells me we will be getting a similar level of coverage right up to the inauguration and once Obama becomes President of the USA.

But I don’t believe that is particularly healthy.

And as long as the identity of the First Puppy remains a mystery, can any of us really rest comfortably in our beds at night?

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2 responses »

  1. Ursula says:

    Paul, let’s be frivolous. Think of the feverish covering of Obama’s victory as the honeymoon: In this case (only) broadsheets flying around.

    U

  2. dp says:

    Sometimes I get the impression that news organisations are susceptible to a false memory effect I call ‘retina burn’, where the afterimage of an event lingers well past the actual presence. It’s time to pay attention to something else, but the intensity of events has burned itself into the news circuits. Or perhaps it’s that nobody’s come up with a new focus of attention that’s anywhere near as compelling. The ordinary is just too ordinary.

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