A regional press reporter who drunkenly resigned from the Birmingham Mail on YouTube while celebrating Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 US election has written a book about his experiences.
Adam Smith, also known as Steve Zacharanda, became an unlikely YouTube hit after his infamous video went viral in 2008, while our report of the incident became the most viewed HTFP story of that year.
Despite fearing he would never be let back in a local press newsroom again, Adam returned to local journalism with the Halesowen News the following year and now also presents a local radio show on scratchradio.co.uk each week.
Adam has now written a book about his 2008 adventure entitled ‘Obama and Me: The Incredible True Story of a YouTube Sensation.’
He readily admits he was the worse for wear when he was filmed resigning from the Mail by a Dutch documentary maker, having had “a few rum and cokes” to celebrate Mr Obama’s election win
The video amassed 400,000 views in three days and briefly made Adam, who had gone to America to help Mr Obama’s campaign, the most written-about journalist in Britain.
Said Adam: “Everyone had something to say about me and my exploits in Miami but when HoldtheFrontPage ran the story about my video that was when I realised it was going to be big and the story would not quit.
“And then to be told that my story was the most read story of the year on HoldtheFrontPage was a bit mindblowing, considering all the proper journalism the site does, but it is something that I am still proud of.
“I was derided and lauded and I read so many untrue things about me, which I found hilarious, but I think it is now the time to tell my side of the story.”
He added: “It didn’t take long for everything to fall apart when I returned from Miami, I lost Cheekie Media, the PR business I set up, my magazine Goggle-eye and the woman I was planning to marry in a matter of weeks in 2009, but against all the odds I became a local hard news journalist again.”
Adam describes his book as “the hilarious story of how a penniless Brummie followed his dreams by helping Barack Obama into the White House and gives a fascinating insight into the most inclusive political campaign ever.”
More information about the book is available at www.stevezacharanda.com.