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Home > SPJ News > SPJ joins 14 other journalism orgs to ask Trump to commit to protective press pool for transparency

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SPJ joins 14 other journalism orgs to ask Trump to commit to protective press pool for transparency


11/16/2016


Contacts:

Lynn Walsh, SPJ National President, 614-579-7937, lynn.k.walsh@gmail.com
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

SPJ signed the following letter with The National Press Club and 13 other journalism organizations calling for a protective press pool for transparency.

Dear President-elect Trump,

We, a group of diverse journalism associations representing thousands of journalists from the nation's capital to every corner of the country, begin this letter on a hopeful note. Your administration is a blank slate, and we are eager to work with you to perpetuate one of this nation's great strengths: our freedom of the press.

We expect that you, as the new leader of the free world, will preserve longstanding traditions that ensure coverage of the Trump presidency. The idea of a press pool that covers all of the president's movements is one that dates back to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. Every president of both parties has treated this important tradition with respect. The role of the press pool is critically important to our country whose citizens depend on and deserve to know what the president is doing. This isn't about access for the press itself; it's about access for Americans in diverse communities across the country. Your constituents receive information from a variety of platforms to learn about what our president is doing.

Being president is an enormous responsibility, and working with the White House Correspondents' Association to ensure journalists' access is one small but important part of that. We call on you to commit to a protective press pool from now until the final day of your presidency. We respectfully ask you to instill a spirit of openness and transparency in your administration in many ways but first and foremost, via the press pool.

We also call for access to you via regular press conferences and pool sprays and to your key decision-makers. You have an opportunity as incoming president to set the tone for your staff speaking on the record for the sake of transparency. We also hope your administration will improve response rates to FOIA requests as a way to show the American people, and the world, that the republic belongs to the people.

A great America depends on having sunlight on its leaders. We expect the traditions of White House press coverage to be upheld whether in Washington or elsewhere. Again we, a joint group of diverse journalism associations, speak as one as we respectfully ask that you take these steps to ensure access to our members covering your administration.

Thomas Burr
President
The National Press Club

Barbara Cochran
President
National Press Club Journalism Institute

Lynn Walsh
President
Society of Professional Journalists

Mizell Stewart III
President
American Society of News Editors

Mike Cavender
Executive Director
Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation

Delphine Halgand
US Director
Reporters Without Borders/RSF

Courtney Radsch
Advocacy Director
Committee to Protect Journalists

Sandy K. Johnson
President
National Press Foundation

Sarah Glover
President
National Association of Black Journalists

Brandon Benavides
President, Board of Directors
National Association of Hispanic Journalists

Bryan Pollard
President
Native American Journalists Association

Paul Cheung
President
Asian American Journalists Association

Jen Christensen
President
National Association of LGBTQ Journalists

Elisa Lees Munoz
Executive Director
The International Women's Media Foundation

Allison Sherry
President
Regional Reporters Association

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