The nation's major media organizations lodged a protest Thursday against the White House for implementing a policy that bans photojournalists from covering President Barack Obama at certain events while releasing government photos and videos of the same events.
"Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties," according to a letter delivered to the White House. "As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist's camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government."
The organizations stressed that they are speaking only about presidential activities, not personal activities or those that would be restricted for other reasons, such as national security.
Examples include Obama's meetings with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus July 10, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on July 29, 2013 and Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai Oct. 11.
The letter was signed by 38 media organizations, including all major televsion networks and newspapers, including the New York Times, Washington Post and the McClatchy Company, which owns 30 newspapers across the nation and the White House Correspondents’ Association. Steven Thomma of McClatchy is this year’s president.