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AP’s multiplatform reporting of Inauguration Day to include live coverage on the Online Video Network


The Associated Press will mobilize its most comprehensive multiplatform reporting effort ever for a U.S. inauguration, including live and interactive coverage on the Online Video Network, for the Jan. 20 swearing-in of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States in Washington, D.C.

AP, which has been covering American presidents since the 1848 election of Zachary Taylor, produced on election night in November the news agency’s first continuous online live video stream. The webcast of the 56th presidential inauguration will stream, starting with live pictures around 7 a.m. ET and anchored coverage about 10 a.m., on AP’s Online Video Network, which distributes the news agency’s acclaimed video content to some 2,000 Web sites of newspapers, broadcasters and other customers throughout the U.S. Look for access details on the home page of the corporate Internet site at

AP reporters Jason Bronis and Sagar Meghani will anchor live coverage on OVN, including reports from the parade route and the National Mall. Bronis and Meghani will be joined throughout the day by experts on presidential and inaugural history. Reporters Bonny Ghosh and Rich Matthews will provide color reports on the ceremonial activities and from the crowds. The webcast will also draw from the 40-camera pool feed for the parade and the swearing-in ceremony. Additional live camera shots will originate from Capitol Hill, the Washington Monument and other landmarks.

The multimedia interactive offerings on OVN will include access to the live anchored coverage and pool feed.

“We are prepared to cover this historic occasion and the events leading up to it across all platforms with the depth and breadth the story deserves,” said Kevin Roach,who is in charge of AP Domestic Broadcast News Operations. “Online will provide live streaming coverage with multiple remotes throughout the city along with an interactive widget where users can select from seven live camera locations throughout the day. Television subscribers to APTN Direct will have live access to the events of the day. And radio customers will be provided live remote anchored and unanchored coverage options of the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural parade.”

AP Television News will provide unanchored coverage, from morning coffee at the White House, to the swearing-in ceremony, to the multi-camera shots of the inaugural parade. APTN, with access to dozens of pool cameras along with a dozen of its own, will have cameras in the crowds to capture the sounds and emotions of the millions who plan to attend. Live coverage will be distributed via the APTN Direct live channel to its subscribers. Highlights of Inauguration Day, including the evening festive balls, will be packaged for news bulletins on the Global Video Wire.

AP Radio will have White House correspondent Mark Smith anchor live coverage of the swearing-in ceremony -- expected to commence about 11:30 a.m. -- while AP chief anchor Jon Belmont provides coverage during newscasts for Live Special Reports and for member stations. AP Capitol Hill correspondent Jerry Bodlander will report from the flatbed truck that precedes the limousine carrying Barack Obama. AP correspondent Sandy Kozel will report from the parade route. AP correspondent Oscar Wells Gabriel will be on the National Mall talking to those expected to pour in from near and far to witness the historic event.

“The peaceful transition of power is always powerful and poetic,” said AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier. “But this Inauguration will be special: an African-American man standing before a nation founded by slaveholders and promising to lead America into an era of tumult and change, of war and recession. The challenge of the AP will be to rise to that occasion. We will.”

AP Online and AP Hosted Custom News, which delivers to Web sites photos, audio, interactives, video and other content and links multimedia from relevant stories, will offer spot coverage of text and photos throughout Inauguration Day and interactives.

On the day of the inauguration, AP national writers from around the country will capture the moment in history as Obama takes the oath, as will a special AP video essay. In the text package Inaugural Roundup, former AP White House correspondent Terry Hunt, now AP’s global economic coordinator, and current Chief White House Correspondent Jennifer Loven team up to capture the passage of power to a new president, the end to a centuries-old racial barrier, what Barack Obama says in his inaugural speech and what’s happening on the Washington scene.

In the week leading up to the inaugural, there will be profiles of Barack and Michelle Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden. AP Washington Bureau Chief Ron Fournier will take readers to the front of the West Front podium and provide a view of what Barack Obama will see after he takes the oath of office -- the Washington Monument, the nation’s exclamation point; the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr., spoke of his dream; and Arlington Cemetery, the reminder of the nation’s wars and the hard choices for a commander in chief.

AP contacted several of the nation’s poets, who wrote special odes to Barack Obama and the nation he’ll lead. The Associated Press will publish those special odes along with AP dispatches written from previous inaugurations.

Global Media Services, which specializes in working out the logistics for live coverage of breaking news and special events around the world for AP’s broadcast clients, will have operations set up at Capitol Hill, Lafayette Park, Freedom Park, the Voice of America Building, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Mall and the AP Washington bureau, to enable global coverage of Inauguration Day by the world’s media.


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