Mainstream Media Throws Tantrum Over Briefing Room Changes

Updated on January 18, 2017
Currently, White House reporting is dominated by a handful of companies.
Currently, White House reporting is dominated by a handful of companies.

Trump to break m/s media's White House monopoly

An increasingly nervous mainstream media sees a light at the end of the tunnel but it’s not their network producers sending another load of PC punch lines to throw at Trump from their perches in the Briefing Room. Instead, they are staring down the camera barrel of a new location and genres of media that will accommodate more than the traditional “Washington Media Elite”. Mainstream media, mostly consisting of anti-Trump Democrats, must make way for the many different genres of journalism, including national Internet bloggers, radio talk-hosts and newspapers other than the New York Times.

“This is about greater accessibility, more people in the process,” Trump spokeman Sean Spicer said Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “Media Buzz.” The new coverage will include more people and news outlets than the handful of reporters from traditional, mainstream media. “It should be seen as a welcome change,” said Spicer.

Trump team would expand the genre of media to make more inclusive

While Esquire Magazine reported on Saturday that Trump was planning to move the press out of the White House, citing an unidentified source, on Sunday Vice President-elect Mike Pence said changes would be made for logistical reasons, in response to heavy demand from media organizations. Esquire and other mainstream media news outlets have suggested the plans are in response to a plethora of recent anti-Trump stories.

Is Trump's team right to expand media briefing room to allow a more diverse media pool?

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White House Briefing Room
White House Briefing Room

White House Correspondents' Association upset over expansion

Plans to relocate the relatively small media briefing room prompted heavy criticism from mainstream media representatives over the past two days. “The briefing room is open now to all reporters who request access,” White House Correspondents’ Association President Jeff Mason said in a statement Sunday. “We object strenuously to any move that would shield the president and his advisers from the scrutiny of an on-site White House press corps.”

Mason said he planned to meet with Spicer “to try to get more clarity on exactly what” the proposal entails, however, the current press briefing room seats less than 50 people and with cameras and equipment, space is extremely limited and many reporters must stand for extended periods of time due to a lack of seating.

Reince Priebus says media should not get "uptight" over changes.

“I know that some of the folks in the press are uptight about this, and I understand,” White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said. Trump’s top aid did not announce the new location but suggested it would be within the White House compound. The old briefing room is located a matter of steps from the Oval Office where renovations for more space would be difficult and costly.

Some wonder why mainstream media reps are in such a tizzy since adding space and more media voices would add comfort for reporters while assuring a broader media platform and thereby a more inclusive product for public consumption.

Mr. Trump’s first news conference saw between 500 and 600 media representatives in attendance, far more than could have been accommodated in the cramped quarters of the current briefing room. Nevertheless, mainstream media is expected to cling to the monopoly they have and rail against change.


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    • Readmikenow profile image

      Readmikenow 14 months ago

      Is this any worse than the Obama Administration demanding changes to reports from the press? Where was all this concern about media control during the Obama years? I have to wonder. Read about it from the Washington Post.

    • DougClifton profile image

      Larry Douglas Clifton 14 months ago from Tampa Bay area

      Thanks for commenting. The next time Dems try and control the media, they might want to beef up cyber security and not use cellar servers to send/receive classified documents. I think your political compass has a rusty gyro or is missing its magnet.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 14 months ago from Australia

      Trying to control the media is typical of facism and ultra conservatism.