A recent from Politico’s West Wing Playbook found that roughly 432 reporters have lost access to the White House over the past three months, representing a reduction of about 31 percent.
The numbers were first reported this past Wednesday along with news that Simon Ateba, the White House correspondent for Today News Africa, lost his “hard pass” access. Ateba, along with more than 441 additional reporters, will no longer be able to attend White House press briefings until they obtain what is known as a “temporary day pass,” according to a report from the Daily Signal.
In May, the White House introduced new rules that limits the number of journalists eligible for a White House hard pass. Such passes allow journalists more freedom over access to White House grounds and press briefings.
Under the new guidelines, reporters will still be allowed to access the White House, though their permissions must be reviewed on a daily basis. They could also be subjected to increased scrutiny from the Secret Service.
“Within the past three months, the number of hard pass holders dropped from 1,417 to 975, with those approved reflecting a mix of renewals and new applications,” Politico reported.
According to the new guidelines, hard pass holders are required to hold a full-time job with a news outlet, live in the Washington D.C. area, regularly access and cover the White House, and submit to a Secret Service investigation. Applicants are also required to obtain “accreditation by a press gallery in either the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, or Supreme Court.”
Additionally, the new guidelines give the Biden press team additional abilities to expel journalists. This was the case with Simon Ateba, as the journalist, who has frequently sparred with Karine Jean-Pierre in the briefing room, was told that he would face expulsion if he continued to interrupt briefings.
— Simon Ateba (@simonateba) July 11, 2023