Thesis: The Kennedy Crises

Sample Thesis Paper

The article, “The Kennedy Crises: The Press, the Presidency and Foreign Policy” uses the four main crises that took place during Kennedy’s presidency as empirical evidence to analyze the role of the press in formulation of a country’s policies, particularly those concerning foreign affairs. The main argument that the article analyses in this connection is whether the press has considerable influence over the president in his policy-making or that the president dominates the relationship. Another major aspect that the article examines is how competing political forces are at work on an issue.

According to the article, the pressure that the press puts on a president is affected by the professional settings and political environment of the reporters, editors and columnists; as such the press is a reflective institution. Two major elements determine whether the press or the president has the dominating influence: the strength of the critique developing in the papers during a period of domestic criticism and the divides existing in the administration. The president dominates the press coverage primarily in situations where competing forces don’t appear with force among influential circles. In early phases of all the four crises i.e. Laotian, Berlin, Cuba and Vietnam, the press assisted in defining issues that originated elsewhere than the press. Studying the press in these crises clearly shows that the press may be free, but not always independent as they are capable of highlighting some issues and playing down others.

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