Televised presidential news conferences marked an advancement in media history; for the first time, tools of electronic journalism were used in covering them. Yet as early as 1955, when the first TV news conference was held under Dwight Eisenhower, it was also known that these events could benefit a president at least as much as the journalistic community. In opening news conferences to cameras and microphones, Eisenhower sought a means of channeling information directly to millions of home viewers in a way that could not be mediated by skeptical reporters, particularly those who wrote for newspapers and magazines. Despite complaints by print reporters, Eisenhower took steps to make TV news conferences a fixture, his press secretary conceiving them as a “very potent way of getting the president's personality and viewpoints” across to the American public.
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