The White House has characterized Trump's more direct public presence as a step toward transparency. But some experts consider Trump's notoriously freewheeling remarks and looseness with facts to be no substitute for the vanishing press briefings.
"I think it does matter to have regular press briefings," Kumar said. "You're letting the White House know that you're holding them to account for what they're doing."
Allan Lichtman, an American University professor of political history, said "a sharp decline in press briefings does indicate an administration in crisis."
He cited as an example the Nixon White House during the later stages of the Watergate Scandal, adding that the shortening length of press briefings and the general lack of presidential news conferences is "disturbing."
Ben LaBolt, a former Obama spokesman, said the fundamental problem is not the administration's preferred messaging vehicle but the administration itself.
"If there's a fact-checking operation in this White House, it's giving a bad name to the industry," he said.
LaBolt cited as an example Trump's first press secretary, Sean Spicer, who began the administration's first-ever press briefing by aggressively and inaccurately asserting that Trump's inauguration crowd was the largest in history.
Trump has made many sweeping claims, often from his Twitter account, that have been criticized by fact checkers. He asserted without evidence in March 2017 that Obama had tapped his phone in Trump Tower, calling him a "bad (or sick) guy!" Last month, Trump claimed that the Puerto Rican government's official death toll from devastating hurricanes in 2017 had been inflated by Democrats to make him look bad.
"I think with Trump, he can change his mind on something, in terms of a priority or something he has, or what he intends to do," Kumar said, offering a possible explanation for why the press briefing schedule has thinned out.
"That makes it difficult for a press secretary, because one of the most important things about that podium is your credibility," she said.