Monday, February 14, 2005

Reporters to Meet with White House on Credentialing

Leaders of the White House Correspondents' Association plan to meet with President Bush's press secretary tomorrow to discuss tightening the White House press-credentialing process. The meeting follows the recent uproar over James Guckert, a former White House reporter for the GOP-linked Talon News, who had used the name Jeff Gannon and drawn criticism for asking partisan questions.

Among the potential changes to the credentialing system:
  • tighter restrictions on who can receive daily press passes, such as those Guckert had obtained; and a more active role by the WHCA in approving requests or credentials, which are now handed out solely by the White House Press Office.

"I can see arguments for a more aggressive credentialing process and for the correspondents playing more of a role," said Mark Smith, WHCA vice president and a reporter for Associated Press Radio. "And I can see arguments against it."Smith requested the meeting with Press Secretary Scott McClellan after McClellan mentioned last week during a press briefing that he would be open to discussing the process with White House reporters after the recent concerns surrounding Gannon, who resigned from Talon News last Wednesday. Link

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