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Trump may stiff journalists assigned to report on his administration

Early moves indicate that President-elect Donald Trump may not follow tradition in granting access to his administration. A poll of journalists usually follows presidents to provide the public with information as to their whereabouts, but Trump dodged the media November 15 in going out to a restaurant. (Associated Press, November 16, 2016, by Julie Pace and Ken Thomas)

The dodge solicited a letter from press organizations arguing against such a practice. Some journalists fear that Trump will alter the practice of news conferences and press briefings and make his administration even more closed than the Obama administration’s, the least transparent in recent history. (The New York Times, November 16, 2016, by Michael M. Grynbaum)

After Trump’s vilification of the media during the campaign, expectations are low for a transparent administration. One of the chief concerns is how the Freedom of Information Act will fare a crucial way for journalists and the public to obtain government documents from federal agencies. “Obama doesn’t get a free pass [for transparency], but Trump’s campaign, along with his general disdain for adversarial reporting, suggest that, at best, FOIA won’t be a priority for him,” writes Jason Koebler in Vice, November 17, 2016

A Trump aide addressed the November 15 dodge saying that the Trump camp was dedicated to improving communications with the press to provide “timely and accurate” information to the public. He admitted that they could have done better on the restaurant visit. (NBC News, November 16, 2016, by Alexandra Jaffe)

 

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