Where to watch Obama's presidential inauguration online

Summary:Washington is about to throw President-elect Barack Obama a $160 million party on Tuesday, January 20 at 11:30 ET, so the least you should do is show up!But for those of us who don't want to bear the incredibly low temperatures of D.

Presidential Inauguration 2009
Washington is about to throw President-elect Barack Obama a $160 million party on Tuesday, January 20 at 11:30 ET, so the least you should do is show up!

But for those of us who don't want to bear the incredibly low temperatures of D.C. at this time of year, there's always the comfort of our own homes...and the warm, fuzzy glow of our computer screens.

Here's a list of places on the web where you might want to hang out this Tuesday:

  • To get it from the horse's mouth, head to the website of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which is in charge of all the inaugural activities at the Capitol. They're streaming the whole shebang on their site with closed captioning. The site also has a wealth of Inaugural factoids, including the recipe for Obama's luncheon (pheasant and duck served with sour cherry chutney, in case you were wondering).
  • Our newsy sibling site CBS News will broadcast live coverage all day on TV and online, starting at 7 a.m. ET. That night, anchor Katie Couric will also host a special webcast with reporters and talking heads. (CBS coverage will also be webcast on Joost's Everything Obama page.)
  • CNN has partnered with Facebook to provide live streaming of the swearing-in and Obama's speech. A Facebook window on CNN.com's Live channel will aggregate your friends' related status updates.
  • MSNBC will stream the event live on its home page and in the politics section of the site.
  • C-SPAN will debut its Inauguration Hub on January 20, featuring an online "control room" of various webcasts of inauguration activities. Users can choose from one of four live feeds featuring events like the swearing-in, the parade and several inaugural balls.
  • ABC News will also live stream inauguration coverage.
  • Fox News will provide live streaming coverage via Hulu starting at noon for two hours. After the stream, Hulu will have on-demand access to the ceremony. You can embed the live stream, too.
  • PBS' Online NewsHour will offer coverage.
  • Current TV and Twitter have partnered to add real-time tweets to Current's broadcast and Webcast of the swearing in, which starts at 11:30 a.m. EDT and will be replayed throughout the day. In other words: tweet at your heart's content (if the site is still up...).
  • Global P2P video site Livestation will feature international coverage from news outlets such as Al Jazeera English, BBC World News, Euronews, and France 24.
  • The New York Times will have coverage, punctuated by its innovative multimedia interactives. Don't miss it.
  • The Washington Post has its own Inauguration guide that is particularly useful for Washington, D.C. residents and visitors who want to keep track of related events in the city through January 20.
  • USA Today will also stream live coverage.
  • Inevitably, news aggregation and commentary site The Huffington Post will feature newsworthy stories and high-profile commentary during the event.
  • The Associated Press' online video network will also cover the event.
  • Snarky politics site Wonkette will likely liveblog the event with claws extended.
  • Don't forget to read the inevitable liveblogs of popular red and blue-tinged political blogs: Red State (right), DailyKos (left), Little Green Footballs (right), Instapundit (libertarian), Talking Points Memo (left), and others.
  • Got an iPhone? Go to Ustream.tv for an app that will let you stream the event live on the device.
  • Latino-minded site Terra will stream in English and in Spanish.
  • Finally, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will webcast some of the official Inaugural balls using Microsoft Silverlight.

And, if you're a real news hound, head to Memeorandum, which aggregates the hottest political stories on the web in near-real-time (news and blog alike).

[Special thanks to CNET colleague Stephanie Condon for the legwork.]

Topics: Enterprise Software


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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