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Roosevelt, Franklin D. (1882–1945)

Among American presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt stands out as a master of political communication. FDR and his administration strove to inform, explain, and justify the many New Deal programs to address the economic catastrophe of a great depression, so much so that the White House became the major center of national news. More than any president before or since, Franklin Roosevelt gave access to journalists with timely, newsworthy information in his press conferences. These primarily background sessions highlighted his policy knowledge, personality, and quick retort, impressing the correspondents with his leadership skills for counteracting the nation's economic disaster. With a record of almost 1,000 press conferences, Roosevelt's more than once weekly sessions set an expectation of news from the White House.

Roosevelt had the first designated ...

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