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A press conference is a formal question-and-answer session between reporters and public officials. The press conference is a media event, designed to give reporters access to a newsworthy public official and official access to the public through media. Although lawyers, celebrities, sports figures, and company CEOs also hold them, political press conferences—especially those given by the president—comprise the bulk of these interactions. Much of what we know about presidential press conference varies by the history of the office and each president's individual preference for holding them.

The presidential press conference is a unique event that combines a prewritten introductory presidential statement with direct questions asked by reporters. Individual presidents set the tone and direction of press conferences with a formal policy or position statement. This allows ...

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