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News photo outlets say White House cutting their access

Dec. 1, 2013 at 1:35 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. news organizations sent a letter to the White House protesting what they say is an unfair limiting of access to President Obama.

The complaint signed by 38 news organizations, including the White House Correspondents Association and the American Society of News Editors, said the administration is purposely giving its "official" photographers unfettered access to the president while elbowing them out.

The letter to Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the situation is "a troubling precedent with a direct and adverse impact on the public's ability to independently monitor and see what its government is doing."

The complaint included concerns that the White House is labeling too many events as "private" and attempting to supplement the stream of news photos with a growing number of official photos the news people consider "visual press releases."

The Chicago Tribune said Carney has responded with an email saying the White House is "working to address some of the concerns raised by photographers covering the White House." Carney has said the limits to access are for logistical reasons and to preserve a level of privacy for the president and his family.

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