The Press: J.F.K. & the Conference

Last week, as he had on six previous occasions, John F. Kennedy displayed near-flawless skills at a press conference.

He arrived well briefed on questions he was likely to be asked. He adroitly parried embarrassing queries, and he projected an image as a crisp and incisive leader. Indeed, most veteran Washington newsmen agree that in his press conference techniques Kennedy has never had a presidential equal. Yet among those same newsmen, there is an increasing sense of dissatisfaction.

Part of the problem lies in the changed press conference format. In Franklin Roosevelt's day, the...