In a recent update to the regulations for journalists seeking permanent press passes, over 440 reporters have had their credentials revoked by the White House press office. The revised guidelines, which were announced in May, have resulted in a significant decrease in the number of White House correspondents from 1417 to 975 after the expiration of the previous passes on July 31.
Modifications to the Standards and Pass Revocations
Under the new standards, journalists are now required to demonstrate that they are employed full-time by a news organization involved in disseminating news. They must also have a physical address located in the Washington, D.C. area and provide evidence of having accessed the White House campus for work within the past six months or proof of recent employment covering the White House. Moreover, applicants must have a regular assignment to cover the White House and possess accreditation from a press gallery in either the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, or Supreme Court. An eligibility investigation conducted by the U.S. Secret Service is also mandatory.
The White House press office has argued that these changes are essential to enhance security. Journalists who fail to behave professionally risk having their passes revoked, beginning with written warnings and escalating to suspensions and bans for repeat offenders.
Controversy and Backlash
It has been reported that some journalists who lost their passes were given until August 10 to comply with the new requirements and reapply for their credentials. However, these revisions have sparked criticism, with one journalist alleging that the White House Press Office specifically targeted him with these personalized rules. In response, the press office has justified the guidelines by stating that when the process began in early May, approximately 40 percent of hard pass holders had not accessed the White House complex within the preceding 90 days.
New Title: White House Implements Stricter Guidelines for Press Passes, Leading to Revocations for Over 440 Reporters