RISE OF TELEVISION
In the 1950s, television became a major force in campaign coverage, and the presidential primary emerged as a path to the nomination. The emergence of televised news marked the beginning of the end of the political convention as the decisive nominating mechanism. Journalists assumed the central role of screening and, in effect, often winnowing potential candidates. Although the true impact of television would not be felt until the end of the decade, when nearly 90 percent of American families owned TV sets, the power of the new medium was evident.
In July 1952, Time magazine focused on television’s role in covering the conventions. The 1952 conventions were the first to be nationally televised.