Presidential Families, Coverage of

Media coverage of presidential families fulfils a variety of journalistic and political communication needs. It responds to the public’s thirst for insight into the human side of White House life, providing numerous opportunities for feature material that amuses as well as informs readers and viewers. It also speaks to the personal qualities of the president, displaying to what degree the nation’s leader exhibits characteristics of exemplarity family life. Consequently, political concerns undergird this ever-present media spotlight. Are the president’s family relationships as presented to the public a help or hindrance to the success of the incumbent’s administration? Presidential communication is designed to picture them positively, whereas media coverage is concerned with questions of news judgment that often involve conflict and controversy.

The role of the president’s ...

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