President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, gives the State of the Union address. (Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images
President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner, gives his 2013 State of the Union address. (Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images)

So, what did the big guy actually say? These four multimedia resources help sort through the nitty gritty of the president’s speech.

A breakdown of the 12 big policy goals

The highlights: an annotated multimedia presentation

As they did with Obama’s inauguration address, the New York Times has created a great annotated version of the speech, allowing reader to click on the various speech highlights, watch corresponding clips from the address, and read further commentary.

NY Times Analysis

Fact-checking the president

So, was everything he said true? Politico offers an interesting multimedia analysis, with specific clips from the speech and commentary as to the accuracy of the president’s statements.

politico fact check

The words, visualized

How do the president’s words look as a visualization? This interactive, created by Dmitry Paranyushkin from Nodus Labs, uses text network analysis tool Textexture to show us the the most prominent concepts inside the text and the relationship between the words used. Words are represented as nodes and the closer they occur next to each other within the text of the speech, the more interconnected they are in the network. Clusters, created by certain words appearing more often next to each other than in the rest of the vocabulary used, indicate distinct topics in Obama’s speech. Kind of weird – but definitely worth a look.

The State of the Union Explained in Four Visualizations 13 February,2013Matthew Green


Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email:; Twitter: @MGreenKQED

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