Tweeting the State of the Union

The Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) is a news website that covers national events and issues. By following the Huffington Post’s tweets on the State of the Union address, readers are directed to a live blog on the news organization’s site created by Post writers.

Several of the Post’s tweets focused on the reaction of other organizations to the address. One tweet stated, “Planned Parenthood praises speech, but AARP is disappointed.” By clicking on the link embedded in the tweet, readers can view the entire statement released by the CEO of AARP and the president of Planned Parenthood. These statements not only backed up the claim made by the Post, but also added a new dimension to one’s understanding of the address by releasing information not readily available to the public.

As a listener, I was not able to point out the topics that Obama missed when addressing the nation. “Left out from #SOTU speech: Gun control, middle class, and climate change,” the Post states in a tweet. This tweet led to an explanation of how and why these issues were not covered.

Similar to many other news organizations following the speech, the Post tweeted memorable quotes from the address. For example, the Post tweeted, “To win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that are decades in the making.” I found these tweets the least helpful in aiding my understanding. While they did isolate catchy bites, there was no further explanation of what Obama meant when he said them.

Many tweets encouraged the sharing of viewers’ reactions. The Post tweeted, “America got a D from it’s engineers, how would you grade the #SOTU so far?” Although these tweets did not help to expand on the address, they did catalyze lively discussion.

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