Author (Your Name)

Jenna Wasson, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Sociology Dept.


G. Calvin Mackenzie


This thesis seeks to determine how television has changed as a communication medium for presidents over the past half century. An evaluation of the evolving ways presidents use television to communicate with and to build support from the American people has been conducted. Presidential communication strategies have been identified by drawing primarily from primary sources written by presidents and White House staff. Television technology and the television audience have changed over the years. Presidents have taken a more pro-active, aggressive role in their efforts to harness television for their own purposes. Why have these changes occurred? What impact have these changes had on presidential leadership capabilities? What benefits and drawbacks do they have for presidents trying to communicate with the American people? And finally, what will the presidential strategy for effective political communication be in the future?


Television and politics -- United States, Mass media -- Political aspects -- United States, United States -- Politics and government