Journalists meet with WH press secretary

December 15, 2015 06:30

A delegation of journalists, on behalf of RTDNA and more than 50 other journalism groups, met today with White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, to urge the Obama administration to provide greater transparency from the federal government.

Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) President Paul Fletcher, who was part of the delegation, said, “We asked that the president renew his commitment to transparency in government. The goal of this meeting is to try to bring about a culture change that has pervaded government for several decades.”

The meeting grew from letters sent by RTDNA, SPJ and many other journalism organizations, drawing attention to the level of control the administration attempts to place on public information. The journalism groups, dissatisfied with the response from Earnest, requested the in-person meeting to go over concerns and appeal for a renewed commitment from the White House to openness.

Among the concerns presented by the journalists were the growing trend of officials refusing to release public information, long delays in responding to reporters' requests for interviews and information, an unwillingness to speak on the record, and agencies effectively blackballing reporters who wrote pieces critical of their actions.

The delegation left Earnest with a white paper and other material to bring to the President, with hopes the concerns will be addressed in the near future.