Fall 2020 Educator Guide

Media Management


Link to Full Article

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

Setting the Stage: 

View this video from pbslearningmedia.org and discuss the tone and feel of the chat and what impact that might have had on listeners.


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.

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?


Franklin Roosevelt on Stairs

Document Analysis Questions

1. Who do you see in this photograph? 

2. What do you notice about the man on the stairs?

3. How does the position of the man on the stairs influence your perception of him? 

4. Do you think this photograph had a positive or negative impact on the man’s reputation? Explain your answer. 


President Franklin Roosevelt descending stairs

Courtesy: Roosevelt House


President Theodore Roosevelt and Reporters at Sagamore Hill

President Theodore Roosevelt and Reporters at Sagamore Hill

Courtesy: Library of Congress

Document Analysis Questions

1. Who do you see in this photograph? 

2. What do you notice about the man in the middle?

3. Sagamore Hill was the home of the man standing in the middle. Why do you think he was there with all these other people? 

4. What do you think is the mood of the people in the photograph? Use evidence from the photograph to support your answer.  


This resource includes supporting questions to guide students in the reading of the article and analysis questions for understanding the primary sources. All educational materials are aligned to the New York State Social Studies Framework. The learning objectives are taken directly from the Social Studies Practices and the content fits within the framework.