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Fall 2020 Educator Guide - Presidents and the Media

Fall 2020 Educator Guide - Presidents and the Media

The President and the Media

In his article, "Media Management," Harold Holzer highlights the relationship between the press and two of the most influential U.S. presidents of the 20th century, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. The article is a small snapshot of Holzer’s most recent book, The Presidents vs. the Press: The Endless Battle between the White House and the Media--from the Founding Fathers to Fake News. This educator guide provides students with guiding questions for the article and two photographs to analyze. Ultimately, students should be able to answer the compelling question below after reading the article and analyzing the documents.

Compelling Question: How does the media influence presidential leadership and power?

Setting the Stage: 

View this video from and discuss the tone and feel of the chat and what impact that might have had on listeners
The Presidents and the Media Article

Guided Reading Questions

1. How does the author describe the relationship between presidents and the press?

2. What was the “Barber’s Hour?”

3. How did Theodore Roosevelt win the attention of reporters?

4. How did Theodore Roosevelt limit the press?

5. What was Theodore Roosevelt’s opinion of the Muckrakers?

6. What secret did Franklin Roosevelt have the press keep from the public?

7. How did Franklin Roosevelt make up for the restrictions he placed on the press?

8. How did FDR hold the advantage over the reporters in the press conferences?

9. What was FDR’s greatest media innovation?

10. What was the new form of presidential power that Teddy Roosevelt and FDR brought about?

Taking Informed Action: Find a recent speech by the current president online. Write down three pieces of information that you think might not be correct. Do a fact check of that information using at least three different sources. Evaluate each source for reliability on a scale of 1-10. Be prepared to share your findings in class.