The dimension JFK added to television 

23 November 2018

From Broadcasting magazine for 2 December 1963

If medium and man were ever meant for each other, television and John F. Kennedy provided the classic case.

President Kennedy’s political birth came along when commercial television was moving out of the romper stage into long pants. And like Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s all-encompassing use of then-new radio more than two decades before. John Kennedy utilized television to project his image and views before the American public.

From the Great Debates where America first saw this young man to the TV close-up of a U.S. President telling the American people we were about to blockade Cuba and might go even further, he took radio and television off the second team and made them peers of the older print media.

Electronic journalism and its newsmen grew in stature by leaps and bounds: There was the exclusive TV show A Conversation with the President — the type of interview that had previously been accorded only to print reporters.

The medium needed no further assurance of its place in society than the President’s exclusive interviews with CBS’s Walter Cronkite and NBC’s Chet Huntley and David Brinkley for the expanded news shows of the respective networks.

Like an expert mechanic who learns what makes things work, President Kennedy knew what made the media tick.

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