The will for presidents to get their story out without media intervention has always been there.
What’s different now, says Mark Jurkowitz of the Pew Research Project for Excellence in Journalism, is new technology that allow the White House to distribute its own content far more widely and effectively than past presidents could.
At the same time, it’s getting harder for cash-strapped news outlets to resist using photos, video and other content supplied by the White House.
Obama’s strategy is part of a broader mass communications trend in which politicians, corporate leaders and others in public life are using digital tools to send their messages directly to the public without a media filter.
‘It’s all about control,’ says Eric Dezenhall, an image consultant who has worked for years with politicians, celebrities and business people.