Since the televised debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon in 1960, the impact of television on public opinion was well known by President Kennedy. Probably the tremendous change that politics faces today with social media. With this knowledge in hand, President Kennedy addressed the world in the first Presidential news conference on January 25, 1961.
Standing before cameras in the State Department auditorium, Kennedy read a prepared statement which covered:
- the famine in the Congo
- the release of two American aviators from Russian custody
- impending negotiations for an atomic test ban treaty.
He then opened the floor for questions from reporters, answering queries on a variety of topics including relations with Cuba, voting rights and food aid to impoverished Americans.