White House Astronomy Party - Media Not Wanted


Keith's note: Other than a short presentation by the President, Astronomy Night at the White House was a webcast with long periods of silence, dark murky streamed video of people in the dark standing next to TV lights, and bad audio. After an hour or two the actual interviews started - but no actual students were ever heard - even though the whole thing is about students. Neither NASA or the White House invited space media to cover the event and talk to actual students (or maybe they did - no one will answer that question for me - no media advisory was sent to me - and I asked). Apparently the kids there (including Ahmed Mohamed) had fun. Good for them. But as a highly-hyped webcast this thing fell short - it was just adults talking to each other. I wonder what this whole thing cost and how many college educations could have been paid for with the TV production costs.

Oh yes, NASA's Inspector General said today that NASA's Education programs are still broken.

Keith's note: (sigh) I only asked NASA and others a bunch of times about this. Clearly there are communication issues within NASA and between NASA and OSTP on things such as Astronomy Night. Funny thing: I was only interested in talking to actual students at the event - not the government wonks who are afraid to talk to me - and never say anything anyway.

If you go to the White House press briefing/media advisory page nothing is mentioned - just a fact sheet issued hours before the event. There is no place on the website to sign up to get press releases or media advisories by email or to apply to cover events. NASA PAO has a list of media who cover NASA in the DC area. They use that list all the time. They also make phone calls to media to alert them to upcoming events. The White House grounds were crammed with NASA personnel for this event. But not a peep from NASA PAO. If NASA PAO political appointee Lauren Worley had the White House media advisory why did it not occur to her that the people who cover NASA might be interested?

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on October 19, 2015 11:56 PM.

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