The White House news office imposed tougher press credential requirements on Friday, including a deadline of July 31 for journalists who presently have badges for which they must reapply. The administration would also have the authority under the new regulations to fire reporters for failing to “execute themselves in a professional manner.”
Since 2017, press credentials have renewed themselves automatically. But going ahead, journalists will need to provide a document demonstrating their “full-time position with an organization whose primary function is news distribution.”
For access to the briefing room as well as presidential events, independent journalists are required to submit “letters from two separate news outlets explaining your connection to them, or, if you freelance mainly for a single organization, a letter from that news organization that defines the nature and length of your association with the organization.”
The notice further pointed out that journalists must include their Washington, D.C. addresses, whether they are personal or professional, as well as a statement stating that they have “accessed the White House premises at the very least one time in the previous six months to work, or have evidence of employment within the past three months in order for covering the White House.”
As part of their agreement, journalists must also consent to “submit to any required investigation by the Secret Service of the United States in order to establish eligibility to obtain entry into the White House complex, in which Secret Service will decide on eligibility by considering whether or not the person seeking access presents a possible danger to the security or safety of the President, Vice President, as well as the White House complex.”
Journalists’ press credentials might be removed if they don’t “act in a professional manner,” according to the notice’s addition.
“The White House expects that every one of the hard holders of passes behaves in a professional manner when on White House grounds by respecting those around them, White House staff members, and visitors; observing noted limitations on gaining entry to certain areas of the White House or authorized events; and not hindering events or briefings on the campus,” according to the new administration guidance. “The White House will provide you a formal warning if your behavior exceeds these standards, unless there are security issues involving the US Secret Service or other urgent situations. After warning and a chance to reply, further offenses may result in a revocation or suspension of your hard pass.”
Following previous outbursts from reporters, the administration made the rule modifications public. Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary, often argued with Simon Ateba, a journalist with Today News Africa.
Ateba criticized Jean-Pierre in March for “making a joke out of the First Amendment,” claiming that the press secretary had been favoring certain reporters while ignoring Ateba for seven months.
In November, Dr. Anthony Fauci was questioned aloud by Diana Glebova, a White House reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation, on whether he had looked into the origins of COVID. Jean-Pierre reprimanded Diana for her behavior. Glebova was defended by Ateba, who demanded that the press secretary summon reporters from “on the other side of the room.”
“I understand your question, however, we’re not carrying out your request. I am done.” Jean-Pierre retorted angrily to the reporters, “Simon, I am done dealing with you right now.”