Obamas walking - first inaug parade
Obama's second inaug parade




Visit the DINNER, AWARDS, SCHOLARSHIPS, and the 2016 SLIDESHOW pages for in-depth coverage of this year's dinner.
© Mary F. Calvert Photography


White House Correspondents' Association™ Announces 2016 JOURNALISM AWARDS

The White House Correspondents' Association, founded in 1914 and dedicated to full coverage of the President of the United States, is proud to announce the winners of its annual awards for distinguished print and broadcast journalism.

The winner of the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for excellence in White House coverage is Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal.

The winner of the Merriman Smith Award for outstanding White House coverage under deadline pressure is Matt Viser of the Boston Globe. The winner of the Merriman Smith award for broadcast journalism is Norah O'Donnell of CBS News.

The Edgar A. Poe awards, which recognizes excellence in coverage of events or investigative topics of regional or national interest, will be shared this year by Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post and Neela Banerjee, John Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song of InsideClimate News.

The Edgar A. Poe Award

The Edgar A. Poe Award honors excellence in news coverage of subjects and events of significant national or regional importance, written with fairness and objectivity. A prize of $2,500 was established by the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Newhouse Newspapers in honor of their distinguished correspondent, Edgar A. Poe.

From the Judges on Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post: After African-American Freddie Gray died in police custody in Baltimore, McCoy investigated the fact overlooked by others that Gray ingested lead paint as a child, leaving him permanently disabled. McCoy learned Gray was among tens of thousands of poor black Baltimore residents similarly poisoned as children. Gray had received a settlement from a 2008 lead poisoning lawsuit, with the money distributed over years to assure that plaintiffs, often unsophisticated in financial matters, didn't spend all the money at once. But Gray sold the payouts to a company called Access Funding in return for a lump- sum payment that cost him several hundred thousand dollars in lost payouts. McCoy's investigation found access funding had struck similar deals with many other lead poisoning victims. His findings led to substantial reforms aimed at protecting these vulnerable citizens.

From the Judges on InsideClimate News: As early as 1977, scientists at energy and oil giant Exxon Corporation told top executives that fossil fuel emissions were warming the planet. Over time, however, Exxon became a leader in denying climate change and argued that the science was inclusive. Reporters Neela Banerjee, John Cushman, Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song of InsideClimate News, used documents, interviews and the public record from four decades to reveal a deeply disturbing trail from climate change discovery to denial. The story prompted the New York Attorney General to issue a subpoena to force Exxon to disclose records in order to determine if it committed fraud under state law.

Honorable Mention to Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe: Michael Kranish"s 10-part "Divided Nation" series probed the impact of class, race and income inequality on voter sentiment. His strong characters and compelling writing made personal the vast and widening gap between rich and poor in America. Kranish's reporting linked the 2008 economic crisis, massive home foreclosure, escalating CEO compensation, corporate stock buy-back plans and centuries-old racial schisms to the voter anger, frustration and disillusionment.

Judges for the Poe Award:

Ellen Shearer: Director, Medill School of Journalism Washington Program, Co-Director, Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, Washington, DC

Indira Somani: Howard UniversityAsst. Professor/Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Scholar, Washington, DC
A'Lelia Bundles: National Archives Foundation Washington, DC

Frank Sesno: Director, The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, Washington, DC

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage under deadline pressure originated in 1970 in memory of Merriman Smith of United Press International, a White House correspondent for more than thirty years. The award carries a cash prize of $2,500.

From the Judges on Matt Viser: In his July 14 piece, "An Inside Look at How the Iran Talks Unfolded," Viser made the judges feel like they were in the room with Secretary of State John Kerry, his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and the other negotiators in Vienna. Viser made the diplomatic language of a landmark international agreement accessible to average readers. His story skillfully wove in telling details and scene-setting color.

From the Judges on Norah O'Donnell: O'Donnell's "60 Minutes" interview with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, was insightful regarding the Vice President's announcement that he would not seek the presidency.

Honorable Mention for David Nakamura, The Washington Post: "An Angry Obama Upbraids Critics Who Want to Block Refugees from Syria." The account of President Obama's reaction to the Paris attacks-and to his Republican critics-while attending an economic summit in the Philippines was deeply reported and well written.

Judges for the Merriman Smith Award:

Tom Diemer: Editor and Lecturer Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism Washington Program

Steve Crane: Cronkite News, Arizona State University, Washington, DC|

Jackie Jones: Associate Professor and Chair of Multimedia Journalism, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

The Aldo Beckman Award

This award recognizes a correspondent who personifies the journalistic excellence and personal qualities of Aldo Beckman, a former president of the White House Correspondents'Association and correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Established in 1981, the Aldo Beckman, a joint effort of The Tribune Company and the WHCA, carries a cash prize of $1,000.

From the Judges on Carol Lee of The Wall Street Journal: Carol Lee focused on one of the most critical responsibilities of a president, foreign policy. Her coverage displayed a heft and authority that illuminated Mr. Obama's policies as well as motivations. She melded the elements into a coherent framework that was understandable to her readers and wove those themes into her coverage of events, providing context and clarifying analysis.

Judges for the Aldo Beckman Award:

Barbara Cochran: Curtis B. Hurley Chair, University of Missouri School of Journalism, Washington, DC

Kwame Holman: Former Political Correspondent, PBS NewsHour, Upper Marlboro, MD

Bryan Monroe: Verizon Chair and Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

The WHCA Board of Directors would like to congratulate the 2016 journalism awards winners and extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to the judges who worked on this year's award submissions.


White House Correspondents' Association™ Announces 2016 Scholars

The White House Correspondents' Association is pleased to announce 18 scholarship winners in partnership with Howard University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, University of Missouri, University of California at Berkeley, University of Maryland, and the George Washington University. They are:

Rushawn A. Walters of Springfield, Massachusetts, is the winner of the Harry S. McAlpin, Jr. Scholarship, a one-time award of $7,000. Rushawn, a junior, is determined to write about the plight of what he calls America's "throwaway" people: the homeless on our streets, often mentally ill, who are sometimes ignored in our society.  Rushawn has experience at Howard reporting and editing, working as an administrative assistant, contributing writer, social media director, production intern and assistant digital editor.

Jazmin Goodwin of Columbia, South Carolina and Miesha Miller of Hyattsville, Maryland, are the winners of the White House Correspondents' Association scholarship prize, a one-time award of $7,000. Jazmin is completing her sophomore year with a membership in Phi Beta Kappa and is the campus editor of Hilltop, the Howard newspaper.  She is also a contributing writer to USA Today College, a digital site with over 500,000 readers. Her professional goal is to become an investigative broadcast journalist who covers human struggles across the globe. Miesha will graduate in Broadcast Journalism from Howard.  In 2015, she interned in the CNN newsroom when the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage and the tragic events of the Charleston 9 shooting took place. Her experience as an intern taught her the overwhelming cultural and political importance of mastering speed and accurate communication via social media.

Jasmine Ellis of Audubon, Pennsylvania and Emiliana Molina of Medellin, Colombia are the winners of the Deborah Orin Scholarship, named for the late White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for the New York Post. Each winner will receive $5,000. Jasmine decided to attend Medill to hone her skills as a political and social justice reporter. She has covered a speech by President Obama to chiefs of police in Chicago and the GOP debate in Milwaukee.  Upon graduation, Ellis will continue to cover social justice issues and politics in the hopes of becoming a White House correspondent. Emiliana arrived in the United States under a grant of political asylum and now is pursuing a master's degree at Northwestern. She has covered the Iowa caucuses and spoken with  presidential candidates.  Emiliana has interned for NBCUniversal/Telemundo 15 and worked at iHeart Media.  She hopes to become a political reporter.

Misha Euceph of Rawalpindi, Pakistan is the recipient of a $5,000 grant through the WHCA to help finance a post-graduate degree for a student in the Government and Public Affairs reporting track. Misha is a Chicago-based radio broadcast journalist. She is pursuing a Masters of Science in journalism at Medill where she specializes in social justice, political and investigative reporting. She also works for the podcast, The City, part of WNYC. 

Ilgin Yorulmaz of Istanbul, Turkey is the recipient of a $5,000 WHCA tuition grant for 2015-2016. Ilgin has worked for twenty- two years as a researcher and magazine correspondent in Tokyo, London and Istanbul.  She is the author of three books about businesses in Istanbul.  Ilgin is attending Columbia University's Journalism School in hopes of refining her skills and ultimately focusing on political Islam; problems faced by Muslim immigrants and the way religion in general and Islam in particular is abused by radicals in underdeveloped countries.

The following graduate students are the recipients of $3,000 grants to study in Washington, DC for a semester: Joshua Benson of St. Louis, Missouri; Shih-Wei Chou of Taipei, Taiwan; Karol Ilagan of Maragondon, Cavite, Philippines; Andrew Kreighbaum of Dallas, Texas; Li Lin of Shanghai, China; Moqiu Ma of Suzhou, China; Caleb O'Brien of Columbia, Missouri; Yizhu Wang of Shanghai, China.

Josh Benson is interested in documentary filmmaking as well as investigative reporting. He has contributed work to The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Associated Press and the Evansville Courier & Press.  He received Best Investigative Reporting and Best Business Story awards from the Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.

Shih-Wei Chou is a multi-media journalist and award-wining nonfiction filmmaker.  While participating in Missouri's Washington Program, he worked with the Shanghai Media Group US Center, helping shoot and edit news with a focus on Sino-American relations.  His work has aired on a Missouri-based NPR affiliate for issues of freedom in the press.

Karol Ilagan reported for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, a Manila-based nonprofit that specializes in investigative reporting, campaign finance and use of public funds.  She also conducted research on practices relating to access of information about budgetary issues.

Andrew Kreighbaum has previously reported on education and local government issues for a variety of newspapers in Texas including The El Paso Times, The Monitor and the Laredo Morning Times. In 2015 Andrew received a Freedom of Information Award from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.

Li Lin completed her graduate project as an intern reporter at Marketplace Public Radio where she worked on business news production, people on the street interviews and data visualization graphics. Currently she is working for Bloomberg News in London.

Moqiu Ma spent the semester in Washington with TV Asahi America.  Her work included covering State Department briefings, congressional committee hearings, think tank events and senior level press conferences. Her favorite stories are those that involve issues of corporate social responsibility.

Caleb O'Brien is currently based in Asuncion, Paraguay, writing about the connectivity of science, health and the environment with social justice issues.  He has written about drones, accelerometers and DNA bar coding in conservation and ecology. O'Brien completed his graduate project at Mongabay, an environmental science and conservation news and information website.

Yizhu Wang writes about educational technology for the national digital daily news publication Scoop News Group.  She covers how schools are adopting digital learning and classroom technologies. Yizhu has interned in the Shanghai bureau of Reuters, The New York Times and CNBC Asia.  She is particularly interested in business and economics reporting.

Juan Marcos Martinez Chacon of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, is the recipient of a $5,000 grant through the WHCA toward a post-graduate degree for a student in the Government and Public Affairs reporting track. As a reporter in Mexico Marcos covered political and governmental affairs for Grupo Reforma and CNN Mexico's news site. He has also written about technology and Hispanic communities in the Bay Area for media outlets such as Univision Noticias.

Miles Moore of Atlanta, Georgia, is a recipient of a portion of the Frank Cormier scholarship, a $20,000 award from the WHCA that is divided among four students at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Miles, who represents that group, has written and edited campus publications and been an anchor/DJ for campus radio station WMUC.  He does volunteer work with organizations such as the Maryland Association of Black Journalists, the Capitol Area Food Bank, SHARE Food Network and Kaiser Permanente.

Nana Agyemang of Accra, Ghana, is the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship as part of a partnership between GW and the WHCA. Nana is a photographer, all-around media specialist and winner of a J. Michael Shanahan journalism scholarship.  An internship at CBS News in Washington provided her with a range of news gathering, reporting, interviewing, production and broadcast experience. Nana founded "Freelance Photographer" and is editor-in-chief of The Ace magazine at GWU.



March 10, 2016

The White House Correspondents' Association has received questions about an alleged altercation between a reporter and a member of the Trump campaign staff. It is unclear to us what precisely transpired, as no member of the WHCA board witnessed any confrontation.

Broadly speaking, the WHCA unequivocally condemns any act of violence or intimidation against any journalist covering the 2016 campaign, whether perpetrated by a candidate's supporters, staff or security officers. We expect that all contenders for the nation's highest office agree that this would be unacceptable.

A healthy skepticism of the news media is as much a necessary part of a healthy democracy as skepticism of any institution, and strident rhetoric in politics is not new. We have been increasingly concerned with some of the rhetoric aimed at reporters covering the presidential race and urge all candidates seeking the White House to conduct their campaigns in a manner that respects the robust back-and-forth between politicians and the press that is critical to a thriving democracy.


January 6, 2016

The White House Correspondents' Association is presenting three major journalism awards at the annual dinner on April 30, 2016 to recognize distinguished reporting.  The awards are among the most prestigious in our field.  Prizes range from $1,000 to $2,500. Members, you are encouraged to review your 2015 reporting and consider entering the competition. The three contests are open to print and broadcast journalists. DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL 5:00 PM ON MONDAY, MARCH 14



Photo: Peter Yang/Comedy Central

December 16, 2015

WASHINGTON - The White House Correspondents' Association™ is pleased to announce that Larry Wilmore, host of "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" on Comedy Central, will be the entertainer at our annual dinner on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

"Larry's edgy, even provocative, brand of humor means he's certainly up to the task of skewering politicians of all ideological stripes, and we don't expect the nation's news media to escape unscathed, either," said Carol Lee, White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and president of the White House Correspondents' Association™. "We are thrilled that Larry has accepted our invitation to be the featured comedian at our annual dinner, which will be the last during the Obama White House."

The WHCA™ represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the administration on coverage-related issues. The WHCA™ dinner is traditionally attended by the President and the First Lady as well as other senior government officials and members of the press corps. Proceeds from the dinner go toward scholarships and awards aimed at supporting aspiring journalists and recognizing excellence in the profession.



Larry McQuillan, White House reporter for 25 years, dies at 70 (download PDF)

By Chris Connell


Larry McQuillan, who covered the Attica prison riots and traversed the globe with presidents from Gerald Ford to George W. Bush for UPI, Reuters and major dailies, died Saturday, Sept. 19, at the age of 70 in Silver Spring, Md. His wife Geraldine, said Larry lost a three-year battle with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma.

The ever-smiling McQuillan spent the past decade as director of public affairs for the American Institutes for Research after three decades as a newsman in New York state and Washington. He covered the White House for a quarter century and was a past president of the White House Correspondents Association.

He and AP's Charlie Hanley were classmates in St. Bonaventure's School of Journalism in the 1960s. "Larry and I went back to antediluvian days together -- in the Bonaventure journalism program, then working together as draftee Army journalists in Vietnam, and then competing across the hall from each other -- AP and UPI -- in Albany in the early '70s. An absolutely wonderful human being whose loss leaves a hole in a lot of hearts," said the retired AP special correspondent.

Another classmate, Dennis Mulhearn, fondly recalled that fellow students called Larry "Clark" for his passing resemblance to the television version of Clark Kent.

McQuillan and Hanley were both recipients of St. Bonaventure's Hellinger Award for distinguished alumni journalists, as was Bob Dubill, former AP bureau chief in New Jersey and retired executive editor of USA Today. "I knew Larry well-before, during and after we worked at USA Today. Giant of a journalist, sweetheart of a man. A staggering loss," said Dubill.

Marlin Fitzwater, in Call the Briefing, his memoir of his years as press secretary to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, described McQuillan as "a bedrock journalist" who "knew how to read a police blotter, how to get a hospital nurse to discuss her patients, and how to tune in to a police scanner to be first at a fire. He was real people."

He was also a devoted father to son Sean and more recently a doting grandfather to Sean and Kendra McQuillan's two daughters, ages 5 and five months. When Sean was an infant, Larry would tote him along to Camp David, Maryland, where wire service reporters and photographers spent the weekend just to watch the president's helicopter come and go.

Jimmy Carter took a shine to the little boy and made a point of greeting him. The late Frank Cormier chronicled one encounter in which the lad, then 4, turned his head away as the president approached. The father explained his reticence: "Sean told me he is only shy with two people - you and Santa Claus." Frank's account was carried in newspapers across the country.

Gerrie McQuillan, a senior researcher with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, called her husband "a kind and gentle man ... who will be missed by many." That is an understatement.



July 4, 2015

Subject: [WHCA Wires] [WH Pool] Practices and Principles of White House Coverage

Dear journalists of the White House press corps,

We present to you today the Practices and Principles documents that each of you helped to draft over the past year. This represents our shared belief about the best path to transparency and openness at the White House, the institution we are privileged to cover for millions of Americans and people the world over. Some of the particular requests are already common practice at the White House. Some of them are not. We urge the White House to embrace them all – in letter and in spirit -- to demonstrate its commitment to transparency and respect for an independent press. We urge all serious presidential campaigns to do the same. And we urge you, the members of the White House press corps, to read them again and to commit yourself to making them a reality. We can’t think of a better way to mark the Fourth of July.

The members of the White House Correspondents’ Association Board

Christi Parsons, President
Carol Lee, President-elect
Jeff Mason, Vice President-elect
Margaret Talev, Treasurer
Scott Horsley, Secretary
Olivier Knox
Major Garrett
Todd Gillman
Doug Mills

Practices and Principles of WHITE HOUSE Coverage DOWNLOAD DECLARATION PDF

As members of the White House press corps, we affirm our duty to vigorously protect the public's right to know about the work of their elected and appointed officials, particularly the Office of the President of the United States.

We believe that the public's right to know depends on the broadest possible access by the press to cover the full range of activities that the President and his or her administration undertake in performing the public's business. We believe that limitations on the press to fully report on these activities in conducting the public’s business undermine public trust in government.

We therefore embrace, on behalf of all those guided and governed by the First Amendment, our responsibility to demand meaningful and consistent access to the President and his or her aides whenever and wherever they conduct the public's business.

To that end, we have defined a set of Principles and Practices to guide journalists and the White House alike in fulfilling their obligation to inform:

· The press must be able to see, hear, witness and question the President and his or her aides on a routine basis, in addition to the daily White House briefing.
· The press must have the ability to question the President in person on a regular basis, including through a full news conference at least once a month and in response to significant news developments.
· The White House press pool always accompanies the President when he or she travels outside the White House grounds.
· The President’s events are by default open to the full press corps and, in the instance of legitimate space constraints, are at minimum open to the full press pool.
· The press has regular access to the President’s aides, beyond those in the White House Press Office.
· Briefings by administration officials are on the record, as a general practice. Background briefings where officials are not identified by name are reserved for subjects of special sensitivity.
· The White House discloses the President’s and Vice President’s daily schedule and informs the press of any changes in a timely fashion.

--The members of the White House Correspondents’ Association

Practices and Principles of Coverage Access for Independent White House Press

Basic Practices:
The President takes questions from the press on a regular basis, no less than once per week, and is available in response to significant news developments.
The President holds full press conferences at least once a month and takes questions frequently from the pool.
The President allows the pool to witness and record him or her at work on a regular basis.
The press corps or its designated pool sees the President frequently on working days, and sees the President on weekends and holidays whenever there are movements by the protective pool.
When the President leaves his or her domicile, he or she is always accompanied by a protective pool that visually witnesses, at the least, arrivals and departures from any place of entrance or exit that is in view of the public, and covers the President in the act of doing the public’s business.
Pool “sprays,” in addition to offering visual journalists the chance to record the President at work, are a time for reporters to ask the President questions about the events of the day.
Briefings are on the record, as a general practice. Background briefings, in which speakers are not identified, are reserved for subjects of special sensitivity.
Embargoes are used to give reporters time to digest complicated or dense material in advance of its public release. Their use should be limited, and never used routinely to generate early-morning coverage of a White House event where no outside input is permitted.
The pool moves as a full group (as laid out in section two) with members representing each sector of the media. When in rare circumstances the White House makes the President available to a partial pool (in a stills-only or photojournalists-only event, for example) the rest of the pool gets access to see, hear and question the President in close succession.
The President takes questions from the full traveling press corps frequently during foreign trips. Foreign leaders who meet with the President take questions in a side-by-side news availability or press conference. In settings where a foreign leader refuses to take questions from the press corps, the President takes questions independently.
In dealing with host governments during foreign travel, the White House works to admit the full pool to all significant events. When the U.S. is the host government, American officials work to achieve the same level of openness and press access that are expected when the American delegation is the guest.
Minimum Standards for the Constitution of the Press Pool:
*Open Press, with full and free access by all media requesting it, should be the default.
*The press corps urges the White House and all serious Presidential campaigns to admit expanded pools (greater than the size of the 21-member in-house pool) whenever possible.

*The White House Press Pools are formed to represent the wider press corps in settings where the full press corps cannot be reasonably accommodated. The pool is assembled to reflect the broad array of media through which the American people and those all over the world consume their news.
*The pools are assembled by the press corps. Every hard-pass holder is eligible to apply for membership in one or more pools, and to be admitted must meet the criteria of the individual pool administrators. (The TV pool sets its criteria and admits members, as do the Radio, Print and Foreign Press Group pools. The Wires do not pool.)
*The In-town Travel Pool consists of no fewer than 13 members (three wire writers, four still photographers, one independent still photographer, one print pooler, one radio pooler and three network crew members).
*The Air Force One Traveling Pool consists of no fewer than 13 members (three wire writers, four still photographers, one print pooler, one radio pooler, one WHCA print pooler and three network crew members). Digital, multimedia and foreign press are eligible to participate through the supplemental pool rotation to fill open seats.
*The In-House Pool, for events on the White House complex, consists of no fewer than 21 members (In-town Travel Pool plus three for AP TV or CSPAN, foreign pooler, Dow Jones and AFP wires and two extra camera crew for the network pool).
*For events outside the Washington, D.C., area, the pool should include at least one member of the local print press. The local pooler should have access to all events open to the print pool, including fundraisers, leisure activities and church events. Members of the WHCA and the White House will extend to the local pooler all courtesies usually given to any member of the White House press corps.

Specific Accommodations:
Air Force One: Whenever the President travels on Air Force One, there is a full Traveling Press Pool traveling with him or her.
Bill Signings are open to the pool.
Briefing Room: All Presidential appearances in the briefing room are open press.
Briefing Room Feed: Presidential remarks at open press events are fed live to the briefing room. Presidential remarks at pooled press events are fed live to the briefing room or replayed as soon as possible, except under exceptional circumstances. Gaggles on Air Force One are fed live to the briefing room, when technology allows, and are replayed when requested.
Camp David and/or personal Presidential retreats: The White House discloses where the President is at all times and what he or she is doing, including the appointments he or she is keeping, calls he or she is making and other public business. The leisure rules (see below) apply.
Campaign events: Any campaign event at which the President appears, while seeking reelection or on behalf of another candidate or committee, is open press and the full pool is always there. A transcript of the President's comments are made available to the press in a timely manner.
Celebrations on the South Lawn: Pool covers celebrations with entertainment (such as Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, the annual congressional picnic, etc.).
Church or House of Worship: When the President attends a religious service, the 13 members of the in-town travel pool have a photo spray on arrival or departure from the service. The four print reporters, the radio reporter and the TV producer sit in on the service, but only if the full pool cannot be accommodated. The service may or may not be recorded for broadcast, at the host's discretion.
East Room and South Lawn events: are open press events, with an exception for space restrictions at events like “In Performance.” In case of exception, full pool is admitted.
Embargoes: Information that has been previously made public by the White House or other agencies is not subject to embargoes. Embargoes are not to be used to prohibit news organizations from publishing information they acquire through independent channels in advance of a public release from the White House.
Evacuations of the White House and other emergencies: As in the critical coverage of the events of 9/11, the White House keeps a pool (only as restricted as is absolutely necessary, and including at least one representative of each media platform) in close proximity to the President at all times. When the White House goes on lockdown and/or the President is moved to a secure portion of the White House or off-campus facility, the White House takes care to keep a tight pool in close proximity and fully informs the press corps as expeditiously as possible. We understand that the top priority of White House staff and Secret Service in emergency situations is to protect the President, but we urge officials to be mindful of the public’s right to know the President’s condition. We ask that they keep the press corps informed in a timely fashion.
Foreign leader meeting: Every meeting with a foreign leader (including heads of state, government and other prominent leaders) is preceded or followed by a pool spray.
Foreign travel: The White House and Press Advance teams work to secure the same levels of access abroad as those observed domestically.
Fundraisers: The pool covers the President’s remarks. The White House does not consent to participate in super PAC fundraisers where the super PAC is unwilling to agree to basic transparency and coverage of formal remarks.
Government media: As a general principle, the White House should not use its own videographers and photographers as a replacement for independent press coverage. When White House photographers and videographers are present, the press pool should be included whenever possible. The press pool should be given the same vantage and access to pooled and open events as the White House photographers and videographers.
Interviews: The press office notifies the press corps of when the President is taping or participating in live television, radio or online interviews, or otherwise releasing new information on social media, and, where possible, releases a transcript. Anytime an announcement or speech or statement is released via Twitter or Facebook or the like, it should be simultaneously sent out, or at least pointed out, via email to the customary White House press lists.
Kennedy Center Honors and Christmas in Washington: Open Press coverage of guest arrivals and presentation. Pool covers entire event, including remarks and performances.
Large Rooms, like the State Dining Room: in-house pools are accommodated, with additions invited as often as possible.
Large-group meetings with the President: The White House default is on the side of meaningful press access to events that involve large numbers of attendees (breakout sessions and summits, for example) and at the least notifies the members of the press corps that they are taking place and provides basic information about the sum and substance.
Leisure: The White House discloses when the President is engaging in a leisure activity outside the residence (golf, for example) and releases the names of those accompanying him or her on these trips, either in advance or as the events happen. The WH allows some reasonable amount of video and still photo access and coverage, which should never be less than the access and perspectives given to any unilateral photographers or public onlookers at the site. The full pool accompanies the President on these outings. In cases where leisure events include a politician, prominent official or head of state, a pool spray is allowed at minimum.
Livestreams: Any POTUS event that is livestreamed or otherwise disseminated contemporaneously by the White House is open to coverage by the pool. Livestreams and other White House broadcasts are not a substitute for in-person coverage of an event.
Marine One: Marine One arrivals and departures at the White House are always open press. During late night and early morning hours when the briefing room is closed, Marine One arrivals and departures are always open to the full pool. Marine One arrivals and departures at locations away from the White House are covered, at minimum, by the traveling pool.
Medical Information: As with all off-campus visits, the pool accompanies the President on medical visits. The White House releases timely information about the President's health, including any medical procedures or tests, erring on the side of speedy disclosure in the interest of making sure the public knows the state of the President's health and capacity at all times.
Motorcade: The lead Press Van is no more than 10 vehicles behind the President’s vehicle in the motorcade.
Newsmaker meetings: There is pool coverage of arrivals with heads of state, congressional leaders and bill signings, or any other event at which the White House plans to release a contemporaneous photo.
Off-campus events: When the President leaves the White House or off-campus site for a private event, the White House discloses what he/she is doing even if the pool is not admitted.
On-the-record briefings: For briefings that are conducted on background, the White House provides an explanation for why briefers should not be identified. Briefers should always be identified at least to the participants in a call so they know who is speaking even if they cannot name them in their reports. Conducting briefings on “deep background” is discouraged in almost all circumstances.
Photo pool sprays: The President takes questions from the press several times a week during pool sprays with the full pool. Pool sprays are open to the full pool and are a time for reporters to observe the President in person and ask him or her questions.
Presidential movements: When the President leaves the White House grounds by car or on foot, there is a full pool walking with him/her or in the main package of the motorcade.
Print Pool Reports: Print pool reports are the responsibility of the pooler, and the White House shall not exercise any editorial role or delay dissemination. Staffers may point out factual inaccuracy, but the decision on any changes rests with the independent print pooler. The print pool and the WHCA board take responsibility for sending corrections and clarifications.
Public Schedule: The White House releases a daily public schedule for the President that notes meetings in which he or she is doing the public’s business.
Rose Garden events: are always open for press coverage.
Secret pools for trips to danger zones: The White House runs the regular rotations to select the members of these pools. Pool participants agree to scrupulously keep the formation of the pool, the trip and its details off the record, and all information very closely held, until the White House releases it on the record.
Stakeouts: Visitors to the White House complex always have the option to make an open press appearance at the stakeout location.
State Dinners: Pool covers – at the very least -- toasts, arrivals and entertainment. The White House opens these events up to an expanded pool upon request.
Transcripts and/or audio of gaggles: The offices of the President, vice President and first spouse release all official transcripts they generate to the press corps as soon as they are available.
Travel Planning: The White House provides off-the-record guidance for planning purposes well in advance of all Presidential trips.
Twitter and social media: White House social media accounts should not be used to circumvent the press corps.
Vacations: are covered by the press corps and pools. On-camera briefings are conducted on a periodic basis, by call of the White House or request of the news media.
Vice President: The vice President abides by the same level of transparency as these principles outline for the White House in general.
Visitor Logs: The White House provides records of White House visitors on an ongoing basis, in keeping with its voluntary disclosure policy.
White House records: The White House has a heightened obligation to release records dealing with the president’s health, finances and ethics. The tax returns and medical report of the president should be released as they are completed. Names, titles and salaries of all White House employees should be disclosed at least annually. Ethics waivers and White House visitor’s logs should be disclosed on an ongoing basis.

The White House should comply with all relevant executive orders and presidential memoranda concerning open access to data by other executive branch agencies, including Executive Order 13642. White House data is to be released in machine-readable, nonproprietary, bulk format, and the White House should maintain a separate data inventory page on its web site. The White House will not hamper any legitimate attempts by news outlets attempting to gain automated access to its electronic resources, including web crawling, scraping or retransmission of live feeds.

* Special practices for Fundraisers:
Fundraisers should be open press wherever possible, and otherwise open to the full pool. The very smallest pool that should go in is the "print pool," also known as the "pencils" in the travel pool (the print pooler, a TV producer, three wire writers and a magazine writer).

The print pool covers – at the very least -- the President’s formal remarks. The White House facilitates the flow of information including, but not limited to, the name of the host, the number of people in attendance and the ticket price (suggested contribution, range of contributions or minimum amount). Where the group is especially exclusive (i.e. fewer than 20 people) a list of attendees is also provided.

When the President appears at super PAC events, the White House discloses or directs the sponsor to disclose to the pool the same information (or comparable information) as is supplied at other fundraisers.
The information comes in as a timely fashion, at minimum by the morning of the event.
The pool covers, at minimum, the President's opening remarks at the event.
The White House provides a readout of the portions of the event that the pool does not witness.

* Campaign Accommodations:
We believe that transparency does not begin in the White House, and that all presidential aspirants embrace these principles and practices, to the extent applicable. In all sections herein, “the Candidate” shall be substituted for “the President,” and “the Campaign” shall be substituted for “The White House” for the purposes of establishing the minimum standards for press access on campaigns. Specific practices relating to monitoring the minute-by-minute movements of candidates shall only be applicable once a protective pool has been formed, but campaigns are encouraged to include the press in as many of the candidates’ activities as possible before that point. Pooled events shall not be used as a substitute for open press access to the candidate.



President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk down Pennsylvania Avenue en route to the White House, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Photo/Doug Mills, New York Times

OFFICERS 2015-2016

President: Carol Lee, Wall Street Journal

Vice President:Jeff Mason, Reuters

Secretary: Major Garrett, CBS

Treasurer: Olivier Knox, Yahoo

Board Members 2015-2016

Margaret Talev, Bloomberg

Doug Mills, NYT

Todd Gillman, Dallas Morning News

Julie Pace, AP

Jon Decker, Fox Radio

Executive Director

Julia Whiston


Copyright © 2016 White House Correspondents' Association℠

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