Open Letter to Trump for Press Freedom

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Dear President-elect Trump,

We, a group of diverse journalism associations representing thousands of journalists from the nation’s capital to every corner of the country, begin this letter on a hopeful note. Your administration is a blank slate and we are eager to work with you to perpetuate one of this nation’s great strengths: our freedom of the press.

As the new leader of the free world, we expect that you will preserve longstanding traditions that ensure coverage of the Trump presidency. The idea of a press pool that covers all of the president’s movements is one that dates back to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. Every president of both parties has treated this important tradition with respect. The role of the press pool is critically important to our country, whose citizens depend on and deserve to know what the president is doing. This isn’t about access for the press itself, it’s about access for Americans in diverse communities across the country. Your constituents receive information from a variety of platforms to learn about what our president is doing.

Being president is an enormous responsibility and working with the White House Correspondents’ Association to ensure journalists’ access is one small but important part of that. We call on you to commit to a protective press pool from now until the final day of your presidency. We respectfully ask you to instill a spirit of openness and transparency in your administration in many ways but first and foremost via the press pool.

We also call for access to you via regular press conferences and pool sprays and to your key decision-makers. You have an opportunity as incoming president to set the tone for your staff speaking on the record for the sake of transparency. We also hope your administration will improve response rates to FOIA requests as a way to show the American people, and the world, that the republic belongs to the people.

A great America depends on having sunlight on its leaders. We expect the traditions of White House press coverage to be upheld whether in Washington or elsewhere. Again we, a joint group of diverse journalism associations, speak as one as we respectfully ask that you take these steps to ensure access to our members covering your administration.

via PetaPixel, who mentions that this comes hot on the heels of DJT trying to dump his Press Pool and play games at his favorite local steak and burger joint.

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    5 Responses to Open Letter to Trump for Press Freedom

    1. Selectively vigilant, collaboratively oblivious, unabashedly partisan and completely self-serving. Now they have ideals? For the greater good?
      Donald vs a steak has national import?

      Reply

      • who is the “they” you’re referring to?

        Also, yes, it’s very important for the press to be with the President while they do silly shit. That’s how we know how they react when they’re doing silly shit and something serious happens.

        Good example: Reading ‘My Pet Goat’.
        Another One: Silly fundraiser event
        Yet Another: Watching the President Fish

        Now what happens if Trump goes out to dinner and someone bombs a daycare? Or he chokes on a piece of steak? or tells people that he’s going to retroactively make washing your hands after pooping illegal? It’s all hearsay and unreliable if you don’t have the press there.

        Reply

      • You do understand that a reasonably free press….with access to government officials….is one of those “pillars of democracy” things smart people talk about, don’t you skandy….?

        What alternative do you propose?
        Turning Breitbart into the Ministry of Information?

        Reply

    2. He could end world hunger and the press would report that he’s putting aid workers out of a job. They may need to be there to report the news but in no way are they impartially and honestly reporting.

      Reply

      • I’m sure that if he were to end world hunger there would be some strings attached and some small caveats.

        Like: Ended world hunger by starting WW3 and now there’s 1/10 of the population to support.

        Reply

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