A Frenchman on Obama

Guillaume Serina is the author of Les Etats Unis, questions sur la super puissance (2004), and Barack Obama, ou le nouveau rêve Américain (2008). His new book focuses on Obama‘s main challenges for 2012, of which the most urgent include health care, the economy, education, and immigration. Dominique Godreche talks with the LA-based French journalist.

Why did you write, after Barack Obama, ou le nouveau rêve Américain, another book about the President, Obama, face au 9 plaies de l’Amérique?

Every four years, America looks at itself in the mirror, and it is an opportunity to speak about the important issues, like Obama, after the big recession. It was a good moment to see what was going on.

You decided to settle down  in Los Angeles. How did that happen, and what major differences do you see, in your profession as a journalist, between the United States and France?

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for about six years, as my wife is from here, and because there are  fewer French journalists here then on the East Coast or other parts of the USA. And I find this country fascinating, as it gives a lot of opportunities to people from around the world, but at a high price. I learned journalism in France, and though I am based in the United States, I work mainly with Europeans and French, but interact with American colleagues. So I can see the differences. Here, they are more tenacious, and when they investigate, they do it seriously.

Also, the economy of journalism is different. Even though it has been tough here, and budgets were cut, they still have more financial means to do good journalism. I am afraid that there is not enough money in France, and it is more difficult to investigate, thus do a good job.

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