History: Political Film

The rise of political radio and films are in many ways parallel. The new medium, film, includes documentaries and newsreels, which can be easily used fopr political purposes. Although the filming of documentaries may be altered and manipulated, they are seen as "authentic representations of reality" by the audience. Subjects of documentaries can be world events or even campaign biographies. Newsreels have a predictable format of a ten-minute weekly or biweekly magazine of news events. Like documentaries, many newsreels featured manipulated or re-enacted footage of events.

As early as 1898, Theodore Roosevelt recognized the propagandistic uses of film and newsreels.