In the Obama Era, Will the Media Change Too?

As after 9/11, the media will be covering a popular Prez in a crisis. Can they do better this time?

Illustration by Francisco Caceres for TIME; Obama: Charles Dharapak / AP

On Jan. 20, change will come to Washington. To part of it, anyway. Barack Obama will take office, but another Washington fixture, the press that covered George W. Bush, will still be there: a whole roster of newly minted network White House correspondents, yes, but the same apparatus behind them.

Come Jan. 21 and beyond — after nearly three months of offering the President-elect free advice and producing stories about his struggles to choose a puppy and keep his BlackBerry — the press will need to cover the fact, not the idea, of President Obama. As long as we're asking what...