Reporters Blast White House Over Secrecy

Press group upset at photographers being routinely blocked from presidential events

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The White House Correspondents’ Association issued a stern rebuke to the Obama administration on Thursday over what it called “a major break” from the transparency of previous presidencies.

“As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government,” said the letter sent to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

Central to the group’s concerns are “White House policies that ban photojournalists from covering the president at certain events while releasing government photos and videos of the same events,” said a news release that accompanied the letter.

“You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases,” the letter said, calling the White House police “a major break from how previous administration’s have worked with the press.”

The group, which represents reporters covering the White House, asked for a “face-to-face” meeting with administration officials to discuss the matter.

The White House did not immediately comment.