MEDIA USE IN THE CONTEMPORARY PRESIDENCY

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Abstract

The mass media are an integral part of the contemporary presidency, yet the empirically-based scholarship analyzing the relationship between presidents and the media tends to be confined to campaign environments rather than to the context of governing. This essay begins to rectify that situation by providing a preliminary analysis of mediated speech in the first year of presidential administrations. Presidents Carter through Clinton are included in the analysis. The findings indicate the growth of the media as an audience for presidential speech, and a tendency for presidents to bifurcate their speech into specific policy appeals presented to narrowly defined audiences on the one handandgeneralizedappeals forpersonalizedsupport presented to broadly defined national audiences on the other hand.

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