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January 25, 1961....

News Conference Transcript

...President John F. Kennedy conducted the first live television conference.  The conference was held in the State Department auditorium five days after he took office.  He was the first president to speak directly to the American people by utilizing live television.  Kennedy’s advisers worried that “an inadvertent statement no longer correctible, as in the old days, could possibly cause some grave consequences” as the Soviet Union would be deciding on new legislation soon.  President Kennedy disregarded the advice of his staff, believing the media exercised great control over the public’s sentiment towards a politician and his message. Kennedy was right; the American people preferred the live conference and by the end of 1961, 90 percent of American television owners watched at least one of Kennedy's first three press conferences.  

 




Sources: Press Conference / Transcript