NABJ is among 15 journalism organizations to issue a letter to President-elect Donald Trump.
Dear President-elect Trump,
We, a group of diverse journalism associations representing thousands of journalists from the nation's capital to every corner of the country, begin this letter on a hopeful note. Your administration is a blank slate and we are eager to work with you to perpetuate one of this nation's great strengths: our freedom of the press.
As the new leader of the free world, we expect that you will preserve longstanding traditions that ensure coverage of the Trump presidency. The idea of a press pool that covers all of the president's movements is one that dates back to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt administration. Every president of both parties has treated this important tradition with respect. The role of the press pool is critically important to our country, whose citizens depend on and deserve to know what the president is doing. This isn't about access for the press itself, it's about access for Americans in diverse communities across the country. Your constituents receive information from a variety of platforms to learn about what our president is doing.
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. 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. 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.
A great America depends on having sunlight on its leaders. We expect the traditions of White House press coverage to be upheld whether in Washington or elsewhere. Again we, a joint group of diverse journalism associations, speak as one as we respectfully ask that you take these steps to ensure access to our members covering your administration.
Thomas Burr President The National Press Club
Barbara Cochran President National Press Club Journalism Institute
Lynn Walsh President Society of Professional Journalists
Mizell Stewart III President American Society of News Editors
Mike Cavender Executive Director Radio Television Digital News Association and Foundation
Delphine Halgand US Director Reporters Without Borders/RSF
Courtney Radsch Advocacy Director Committee to Protect Journalists
Sandy K. Johnson President National Press Foundation
Sarah Glover President National Association of Black Journalists
Brandon Benavides President, Board of Directors National Association of Hispanic Journalists
Bryan Pollard President Native American Journalists Association
Paul Cheung President Asian American Journalists Association
Jen Christensen President National Association of LGBTQ Journalists
Elisa Lees Munoz Executive director The International Women's Media Foundation
Allison Sherry President Regional Reporters Association