Report: White House Wants Stricter Requirements for Journalists Following Chaos at Press Conference

The White House / YouTube

The White House wants stricter requirements for journalists to obtain “hard passes,” which would make many journalists have to apply for temporary day passes, the Daily Beast reported after speaking with two people familiar with the situation.

The reported rule change would most likely affect Simon Ateba, the White House correspondent for Today News Africa. Just one week before the Daily Beast report, the White House daily press conference descended into chaos after Ateba confronted press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre at the beginning of a press conference about not being called on for seven months. Besides Ateba, it could also affect freelancers and independent journalists.

The Daily Beast reported Tuesday:

According to our sources, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre would like a quick return to Obama-era credentialing requirements for hard passes, which take several months to process and allow reporters to regularly enter the White House complex without prior permission. (Other journalists would request temporary day passes through the press office.)

During the Obama years, the White House typically only issued such passes to reporters who were also accredited by a chamber of Congress or the Supreme Court. In order to receive such accreditations, applicants must be primarily occupied as a journalist, work for a reputable media company, and regularly cover Washington, among other requirements.

While sources stressed to Confider that the press office has mulled changing the rules for a year now, they also acknowledged that reporters like Ateba had been a disruptive force in the briefing room throughout that time—and potentially a reason to stiffen the rules.

Ateba stated earlier this month in a lengthy tweet that the White House Correspondents Association rejected his membership because they, according to him, “did not see evidence” that he was “employed on the editorial staff of a newspaper, periodical, wire service, radio, TV, or other news-gathering organization that reports on the White House.”

Jacob Bliss is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at or follow him on Twitter @JacobMBliss.


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