This is -- or was -- a big anniversary in the history of political journalism. It was 100 years ago today that the first presidential news conference was held.
There's a fair chance you'll be able to tell your grandchildren you remember the very last one ever held because the era of press conferences by presidents is drawing to a close, Bill Plante of CBS News seems to suggest.
The suggestion is in the age of Twitter, presidents don't need news conferences anymore to get their message out, an assertion, which -- in itself -- reveals the opposite poles of press and president. A press conference isn't about getting a message out. A press conference is about answering tough questions that people without access to a president can't ask, but to whom answers are owed.
But, for the record, the White House took another step forward in the "straight to the people" strategy of recent times today, unveiling the audio series, "Being Biden."
Episode One: This picture:
The presentation isn't really about the picture at all, as it turns out. It's about the push for gun control.
There were no follow-up questions.
At one time I had a link to a list of how many press conferences where held by each president.
ah google to the rescue
According to the chart Nixon and Reagan held the least number per year.
Interesting data, BJ. I would also like to see more qualitative info - how many presidents directly answered questions from the press, and for how long.
That side has full transcripts of current ones and notes from older ones.
The oldest one on file is pretty interesting, look at the questions.... the area marked QUOTATION OF NEWS CONFERENCE REMARKS
"There is no very great public interest in it." yet here I am now reading about it....
Politics aside, it has been years since I have organized a press conference. They are just not really part of my communications tool kit any longer -- like the mailed or faxed press release.