By Mark Felsenthal
Simmering tensions between the White House and press corps that covers it spilled into the open on Thursday when news organizations formally protested decisions to bar photojournalists from many presidential events.
The White House Correspondents Association and major news organizations, including Reuters, wrote to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to complain about being shut out of events that the White House documented with its own photographer.
They urged that the White House provide access for independent photojournalists to all public governmental events the president participates in.
“The apparent reason for closing certain events to photographers is that these events have been deemed ‘private,’” the journalists wrote. “That rationale, however, is undermined when the White House contemporaneously releases its own photograph of a so-called private event through social media.”
The evolution of information technology has expanded the ability of the White House to publish photos and video on its website, WhiteHouse.gov, or through widely viewed social media.