Origins of the Political Ad: Woodrow Wilson’s 1912 Campaign Film (PBS NewsHour)


In an interview with PBS NewHour’s blog “The Rundown,” Trygve Throntveit, a visiting fellow at the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, cites a 100-year-old campaign film distributed by the Democratic National Committee as an example of how “politics has long been evolving along with, and in response to, new media.”

Housed at the Library of Congress, the film, made on behalf of candidate Woodrow Wilson, is the earliest known example of a politician using the medium of motion pictures to communicate with the voting public, explains NewsHour.

“This was quite extraordinary to release a film like this and in some ways it just goes to show that we always have constantly adapted our politics to changes in society and culture, ” says Throntveit.

Read the full story, published 8/20/12 on PBS NewsHour’s blog, “The Rundown.”

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