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1/15/17

Freedom of the Press USA: Trump Team Considers Moving Press Corps, Alarming Reporters - By M.M. Grynbaum

Trump to Press: "My way or the Highway"
In the 1890s, journalists covering the president were forced to stand vigil outside the White House fence, querying visitors for scraps of information and appealing for audiences with presidential aides.

Today’s reporters are concerned that President-elect Donald J. Trump could send them back into the past.

The White House press corps was stunned on Sunday by reports of a proposal by the Trump administration to eject reporters from their home in the West Wing — a move that, if carried out, would uproot decades of established protocol whereby journalists are allowed to work in the White House close to senior officials.

Reince Priebus, Mr. Trump’s incoming chief of staff, appeared to backpedal on the idea after it was reported by Esquire magazine, saying that only the location of the press briefing room was being discussed and that the administration was merely considering a larger area to accommodate the hundreds of journalists seeking to cover Mr. Trump.

But for jittery Washington reporters, it was yet another salvo from an administration that has shown an unusual willingness to berate and belittle the news media, at the behest of a president-elect who has floated the idea of rolling back libel protections and, in a volcanic appearance last week, refused to take questions from CNN after it ran a story he did not like.

The sense of alarm was clear last week when more than 100 reporters showed up to a routine meeting of the White House Correspondents’ Association. The group, which promotes reporters’ access to presidential administrations, pledged to be vigilant about responding to any erosion of press freedoms. “We are all in this together,” said Jeff Mason of Reuters, the group’s president. 

Read more: Trump Team Considers Moving Press Corps, Alarming Reporters - The New York Times

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