White House releases State of The Union address online ahead of time

As is customary, tonight the President will give his State of the Union address but in a first-time move, the entire speech is available for anyone to read online. It's usually released to reporters early under embargo, but this is the age of the internet and the White House posted it for everyone to read just a few minutes ago. Even if you're watching from home (on network TV, news channels or YouTube), you can know what's coming next. Whatever your political leanings, this seems like a pretty good way to expand access beyond just those with the right connections.

[Image credit: Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images]

There is a ritual on State of the Union night in Washington. A little before the address, the White House sends out an embargoed copy of the President's speech to the press (embargoed means that the press can see the speech, but they can't report on it until a designated time). The reporters then start sending it around town to folks on Capitol Hill to get their reaction, then those people send it to all their friends, and eventually everyone in Washington can read along, but the public remains in the dark.

This year we change that.

For the first time, the White House is making the full text of the speech available to citizens around the country online. On Medium, you can follow along with the speech as you watch in real time, view charts and infographics on key areas, tweet favorite lines, and leave notes. By making the text available to the public in advance, the White House is continuing efforts to reach a wide online audience and give people a range of ways to consume the speech.