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USA Today, Tacoma News Tribune Break Ranks, Refuse to Publish Official White House Photos

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Sorry, Mr. President, but official pictures won’t do

Karen Peterson reports: A photojournalist’s job is to document the news the way it really looks, not the way somebody wants it to look. Even when that somebody is the president.

During his presidency, Barack Obama has time and again closed the door to photojournalists trying to take pictures of him performing official duties. Instead, he’s had his own photographer take the pictures, which the White House distributes to the media. You can bet only flattering photos make it through.

That’s a break from the practice of previous administrations, which allowed greater access. It’s concerning to the nation’s largest press organizations and concerning to us at The News Tribune.

Last week, the American Society of News Editors and 37 other organizations signed a letter delivered to Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, protesting the lack of access. The letter listed seven news events handled this way from July 2013 to October 2013, including the president’s meetings with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, and with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

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