As the White House continues to ban video and live recordings at various press briefings, a growing media coalition has called on President Trump to reinstate their presence at all briefings, with the National Press Photographers Association now joining the letter.
The NPPA recently joined PEN America, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Free Press, Reporters Without Borders, and the Society of Professional Journalists in calling on the president to end the ban as well as the decreased frequency of televised briefings, citing a growing lack of transparency and an inability to enable the access of information by regular citizens. Gabe Rottman, PEN America’s Washington director, notes:
The whole point of the White House press briefing is to give the public a window into the White House… We fear that closing the press briefings to video and audio is just another darkening of that window into our government.
The letter goes on to elaborate on the importance of having cameras and live broadcasts in maintaining both accountability and the ability to ensure answers are more candid than purpose-written responses:
The role of the press in asking questions and probing issues on behalf of the public is invaluable; there is no substitute for the give-and-take of a press conference in allowing the questions most on the minds of the American people to be asked and answered in real time, without the forethought and crafting that goes into scripted written messages.
The letter was sent June 29, but has not received a response yet.
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