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Obama Adds Online Video to Weekly Address


U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is taking the Democratic Party's weekly radio address online, as the incoming administration works on making the White House more high-tech.

Mr. Obama is recording the address Friday, for its regularly scheduled broadcast on Saturday. But, for the first time, video of the address will be recorded and posted online. It will be put on the incoming administration's Web site: www.change.gov.

The president-elect plans to continue to distribute the address via radio and online video when he is in the White House.

The transition office says this move is one of the ways President-elect Obama plans to communicate directly with the American people and make the White House and political process more transparent.

The presidential radio address was considered innovative in the 1930s when then-President Franklin Roosevelt first used it to reach out to the American people. Mr. Roosevelt's so-called "fireside chats" were a source of comfort and reassurance during times of economic depression and war.

Mr. Obama used the latest Internet technology during the presidential campaign to raise money, organize supporters and get his message out without relying on traditional news sources.

His supporters on the popular online social network Facebook greatly outnumbered those who backed his Republican rival, John McCain. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace are particularly popular with younger Americans.

Mr. Obama used other innovative marketing methods during the campaign, using the Youtube video sharing Web site and advertising in video games. He also announced his vice presidential pick in a text message to his supporters.

Some information for this report was provided by AP

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