Television and Politics

Archive Report

Role of Television in the 1968 Campaign

Politics and television have contracted an informal, mutually uneasy alliance of convenience in this presidential election year. No candidate for high national or state office can afford to ignore a medium that reaches at least 98 per cent of all American households wired for electricity. And the networks must perforce devote a considerable amount of time to political speeches and to news coverage of the Democratic and Republican national conventions. Politics on television is costly—both to the candidates and to the broadcasters. If the goal is to enlighten the electorate, are political telecasts worth the outlay of time and money?

Television has been praised for bringing the candidate and the voter into more intimate contact than was formerly possible. ...

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