Picking and Choosing: Presidential Media Power

Picking and Choosing: Presidential Media Power

Roza AL

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The use of the media by Presidents changes over time because the ways we communicate have changed over time.  The founding fathers could never have imagined the types of media Presidents have used to show their power and influence. How have Presidents used the changing media over time?  Here are a few types of media that Presidents have used.

  • Portraits and photographs.
  • Recorded sound
  • Radio
  • TV
  • Computers and the worldwide web
  • Social Media

Presidential portraits and photos

 I saw this painting the first president of United State Of America  welcome  to new life for all people. His right hand over the pen symbolizes a welcome to the US citizen and an openness in American government.  His left hand holds a sword.  He stands seriously and is dressed in the clothes of a civilian but he will use the sword if necessary.

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John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, was the first president to have his photograph taken (the earliest photo still in existence, at least). It was taken in 1843, a good number of years after Adams left office in 1829.

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Teddy Roosevelt was a President of action and he used the photograph to show that.

Theodore Roosevelt strikes a characteristic pose in a 1903 photographic portrait by the Rockwood Photo Co.
Teddy Roosevelt was an imperialist President who like to be known as a world leader.
TR examines a gun before presenting it to Chief Okawahki in "TR in Africa" (1909).
Teddy Roosevelt examines a gun in 1909 in Africa.





The first Presidents to use the radio to talk to the American public

On this day in 1922, President Warren G. Harding, while addressing a crowd at the dedication of a memorial site for the composer of the “Star Spangled Banner,” Francis Scott Key, becomes the first president to have his voice transmitted by radio. The broadcast heralded a revolutionary shift in how presidents addressed the American public.


President Franklin Roosevelt used the radio to calm the citizens fears during times of crisis and war.

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President F. D. Roosevelt giving a regular radio address to the people.

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The first Presidents to use TV

Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to speak on television. Roosevelt spoke at the opening session of the New York World’s Fair on April 30, 1939. President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first President to appear on TV in color during his inauguration speech.


President Kennedy used TV effectively to win election over Richard Nixon. He also used TV to be the first President to give a live press conference.


The first Presidents to have a website.

Web sites were first used by candidates running for President in 1996 and then the official White House website was launched by President Bill Clinton at https://www.whitehouse.gov/

Image result for Clintons first Presidential website


The first Presidents to regularly use twitter.

While President Obama was known to use twitter, President Trump uses it daily as a new source of power.

President Trump is America’s First Twitter President. Be Afraid.He’s giving a whole new meaning to the term “bully pulpit.”



How can the media be useful for a President and how can it be harmful?

On the one hand President Trump would not be in power without the media and on the other he has been very rude to the media.  How will the new President use the media?  This week he called CNN “fake news” because they were investigating him. He attacked CNN also said last week that he doesn’t like twitter but that he uses it to stand up for all the false news about him.

The president-elect touched on his use of social media, which he says will continue after he is sworn in as the 45th president. 

“Look, I don’t like tweeting. I have other things I could be doing,” Trump told Earhardt. “But I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press, and it’s my only way that I can get out and correct.

“Now, I’m going to be close to 50 million people – including Facebook and Instagram and things, I’m going to be close to 50 million people,” Trump added. “So when people misrepresent me … I have at least a way of saying it’s a false statement. Now, if the press were honest, which it’s not, I would absolutely not use Twitter. I wouldn’t have to.”



The first amendment gives freedom of religion, speech, and the press and the use of this freedom should be modeled by our leaders.  Every freedom or right should be practiced responsibly.  Trump uses and abuses the media.  He is in a divided relationship with the media. The power of Twitter takes the power of the President to a new level.


President Trump has also shown what an abusive press conference looks like.  Every day seems like a new surprise in how the new President uses and abuses the media.