FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | In late May, President Barack Obama took the podium in front of the White House press corps in his first full, open-ended news conference in 10 months, a gap that exceeds the record set by his predecessor.
Obama’s lack of presidential press conferences and his general lack of transparency and accessibility to journalists during his administration are in sharp contrast to the platform on which he ran for president in 2008. During that campaign, Obama pledged a new era of openness.
Even the most logical of venues for answering questions from the press seem to be off-limits. In mid-May after he signed the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act-a new law requiring the State Department to identify governments that restrict press freedoms-he refused to answer questions from reporters. “I’m not doing a press conference today,” he announced, according to a Reuters news story. And when he does allow reporters’ questions, attempts are made to control the proceeding. Last year the Wall Street Journal criticized the administration’s pre-screening of reporters who would be allowed to ask questions of the president. [Read more...]