Press Groups Push Trump for Access

Professional organizations seek cooperation on pool coverage, news conferences

Professional journalism associations, including the National Press Club, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Committee to Protect Journalists, are urging President-elect Donald Trump to allow for a full press pool, regular press conferences and a "more responsive" approach to FOIA requests.

That came in a letter signed by 15 organizations that also include the American Society for News Editors and the Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation.

The CPJ had warned during the campaign that Trump represents an unprecedented threat to journalism and journalists.

"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," the groups said in the letter. "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," the letter continued. "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."

News organizations have complained already that Trump is not keeping them in the loop regarding his schedule, including when he left Washington for New York and when he went out to dinner this week.

Trump’s disdain for the press was obvious throughout his campaign, which included numerous criticisms, insults, threats and accusations of a conspiracy to elect his opponent.