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President Barack Obama has not emphasized holding traditional televised press conferences, but has attempted to set out his policy priorities and to connect with the public largely through a substantial presence on the Web and use of social media platforms such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter pages as well as accounts on Flickr, iTunes, Tumblr, Vimeo and YouTube.

The president has appeared in numerous one-on-one televised interviews and briefer question-and-answer sessions. He has received criticism from the White House press corps as question-and-answer gatherings often take place with a smaller group of journalists than those who attend a regular press conference. However, press conferences remain an important element of presidential communications. As Towson University Professor Martha Kumar, a historian of presidential communications, observed in Politico in 2013 : “Press conferences are a place where presidents establish the legitimacy of their ideas and call for public support.”

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