News conference

News conference
A joint press conference by U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair at the White House.

A news conference or press conference is a media event in which newsmakers invite journalists to hear them speak and, most often, ask questions. A joint press conference instead is held between two or more talking sides.



Reporters raise their hand to signal that they wish to ask a question.

In a news conference, one or more speakers may make a statement, which may be followed by questions from reporters. Sometimes only questioning occurs; sometimes there is a statement with no questions permitted.

A media event at which no statements are made, and no questions allowed, is called a photo opportunity. A government may wish to open their proceedings for the media to witness events, such as the passing of a piece of legislation from the government in parliament to the senate, via a media availability[1].

Television stations and networks especially value news conferences: because today's TV news programs air for hours at a time, or even continuously, assignment editors have a steady appetite for ever-larger quantities of footage.

News conferences are often held by politicians (such as the President of the United States); by sports teams; by celebrities or film studios; by commercial organizations to promote products; by attorneys to promote lawsuits; and by almost anyone who finds benefit in the free publicity afforded by media coverage. Some people, including many police chiefs, hold news conferences reluctantly in order to avoid dealing with reporters individually.

A news conference is often announced by sending an advisory or news release to assignment editors, preferably well in advance. Sometimes they are held spontaneously when several reporters gather around a newsmaker.

News conferences can be held just about anywhere, in settings as formal as the White House room set aside for the purpose to as informal as the street in front of a crime scene. Hotel conference rooms and courthouses are often used for news conferences.

U.S. Presidential press conference

When the President of the United States holds a press conference, he takes questions from the press pool in a specific order: wire services (for decades, Helen Thomas of UPI had the first question), broadcast networks, national newspapers, newsmagazines, video and, lastly, regional newspapers.[citation needed] In crisis situations, it holds a special value. It offsets all burning questions at that particular moment.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • news conference — UK US noun [C] COMMUNICATIONS ► a meeting in which someone makes a statement to journalists (=people who do reports for newspapers and television) or answers questions from them: »The company has called a news conference on Tuesday to unveil a… …   Financial and business terms

  • news conference — news ,conference noun count a meeting where reporters get information and ask questions about a particular piece of news: PRESS CONFERENCE …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • news conference — news conferences N COUNT A news conference is a meeting held by a famous or important person in which they answer journalists questions. Syn: press conference …   English dictionary

  • news conference — ► NOUN ▪ a press conference …   English terms dictionary

  • news conference — ☆ news conference n. PRESS CONFERENCE …   English World dictionary

  • news conference — noun a conference at which press and tv reporters ask questions of a politician or other celebrity (Freq. 2) • Syn: ↑press conference • Hypernyms: ↑conference, ↑group discussion • Hyponyms: ↑backgrounder …   Useful english dictionary

  • news conference — (esp. AmE) noun ⇨ See also ↑press conference ADJECTIVE ▪ formal ▪ presidential ▪ televised ▪ prime time ▪ post game …   Collocations dictionary

  • news conference — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms news conference : singular news conference plural news conferences a meeting where journalists get information and ask questions about a particular piece of news …   English dictionary

  • news conference — n. to hold a news conference * * * [ njuːzˌkɒnf(ə)rəns] to hold a news conference …   Combinatory dictionary