The coalition of major news outlets protesting the White House’s photo policy continues to grow, with McClatchy newspapers adding their name on Wednesday to the list of publications that will no longer print official administration images.
McClatchy’s announcement that it will not be running official White House images in its papers except in extreme circumstances follows a similar promise made over the weekend by USA Today amid growing complaints waged by photojournalists and those in the news industry who oppose this administration’s tendency to exclude independent reporters from official events.
Last week, the Associated Press, ABC News, the Washington Post and Reuters all signed a letter to White House press secretary Jay Carney imploring the administration of President Barack Obama to provide photographers with increased access to the commander-in-chief. According to those outlets, this White House has more than any other administration prevented credentialed photographers from shooting images of the president, and instead has relied on Mr. Obama’s official photography team on a routine basis to exclusively take pictures to be disseminated among the press.
The selective nature of the White House’s process of hand-picking which images to release — as well as its shuttering of a free press — has raised numerous complaints as of late by news outlets and media experts. “Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing his official duties,” last week’s letter reads. “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.”
But while the AP-led campaign has indeed garnered the support of outlets like CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and others, only McClatchy and USA Today so far have said they’ll be boycotting official images.