White House Unveils Rules Targeting Journalists Who Refuse To Be ‘Professional’


The White House has released new rules for journalists to follow in the presidential briefing room, as well as at other events. They also warn against unprofessional conduct.

According to the new rules, journalists must submit a letter with their employer’s information to gain access to White House grounds. Reporters are required to work for an organization “whose primary business is news dissemination.”

This rule change is coming days after World Press Freedom Day, when reporters such as Simon Ateba have been causing outbursts within the briefing rooms. Journalists have criticized White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre for not providing fair representation in her briefing room. The Biden administration also has been criticized by the press over unfair access to White House Events.

All “hard passes” that are currently used to gain entry to the White House grounds or press briefings will expire on July 31.

The letter asks reporters to provide their physical address and a statement stating that they have accessed White House in the past six months, cover White House on a “regular basis,” and proof of accreditation by a “press gallery at either the Supreme Court of the United States, U.S. Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives.”

The Secret Service will decide whether a reporter poses a risk to President Obama, Vice President Biden, or White House Complex.

In the guidelines, it is stated that journalists with access to White House must maintain a professional manner and refrain from interfering with “events or press briefings” held on campus. Violators may be suspended.

The White House expects all hard pass holders to act professionally while on White House grounds. This includes respecting colleagues, White House staff, and guests, observing restrictions on accessing areas of the White House, or credentialed event, and not interfering with events or briefings at campus. If you violate these expectations, the White House may issue a warning in writing unless there are security concerns with the United States Secret Service. The guidance says that if you violate these expectations again, your hard pass may be suspended or revoked after notice and an opportunity for response.

The Trump administration tried to ban temporarily several journalists who were involved in confrontations with staff. The federal appeals court found that Sebastian Gorka’s heated exchange with journalist Brian Karem did not give Brian Karem “fair notice” of his revocation.

Ateba, a man who has interrupted press briefings at the White House after being absent for several months, claims that the new rules originating from the White House were due to his “presence”.

“While I’m not upset that the White House made changes because of my presence, it’s ironic that these adjustments came shortly after President Biden announced that journalism was not a criminal on World Press Freedom Day. If you are good at your job, it seems that the WHCA will work with the White House to target you. This situation increases the public’s distrust of the media and Washington politicians,” Ateba said to the Daily Caller.

The White House didn’t immediately answer the Caller as to why it is making these changes. However, an official from the New York Post said that the rule change has been in development “for more than one year” and was a result of the “feedback received by journalists covering the White House.”

We are giving reporters a 3-month window to submit their applications, and to contact us with any questions. According to The Post, the criteria will be applied equally to all applicants.