EDITORIAL: White House is opaque about transparency

2013-11-26T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: White House is opaque about transparency nwitimes.com
November 26, 2013 12:00 am  • 

The Obama administration promised a new era of transparency, but that shouldn't be translated as an invisibility cloak over the president.

President Barack Obama's administration has made it a practice to block news media photographers from many events, circulating photos from a White House photographer instead. That's not good enough.

A variety of news organizations — including the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors, the White House Correspondents Association, Lee Enterprises (parent company of The Times) and many others — sent White House Press Secretary Jay Carney a letter Friday that serves as a formal complaint.

The public's trust in government is built on allowing the public — via news photographers, in this instance — to witness the government at work. And let's face it, trust in the federal government is far below where it should be.

In the past, news photographers showed presidents creating history — moments like President John F. Kennedy in the days leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis, President Jimmy Carter joining hands with Anwar Sadat of Egypt and Menachem Begin of Israel at the signing of the Camp David Accords and President Ronald Reagan walking out of the White House for the final time.

But the Obama administration is routinely denying the right to news photographers to photograph or videotape the president performing official duties.

This isn't a matter of national security. We're talking about events that are obviously public. Yet the White House calls the events private and sends its own photographs to the media and, via social media, to the public.

In essence, propaganda is being distributed while the news media are being shut out.

Obama promised a new era of transparency. It's a new era, all right, but not of transparency.

This administration needs to fulfill its pledge of transparency and give news photographers access to White House events, just as was the case in previous administrations.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses

Submit a Letter to Editor

We welcome letters from readers on any issue of public interest, and make every effort to publish as many as we can and in a timely manner. The Times will publish only one letter a month from a writer, and be sure to include your name, address and a telephone number for verification. Letters should be 150 words or less. They will be edited.

Letters may be submitted:
  • Via our submission form.
  • Via e-mail.
  • Via fax: (219) 933-3249 or (219) 465-7298
  • Via mail or by hand to our offices:
    • 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321
    • 2080 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307
    • 1111 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46383
    • 3410 Delta Dr., Portage, IN 46368
    • Please mark envelopes with "Attn: Letters"


Email Editorial Page Editor Doug Ross or call (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357



Who do you support for Lake County assessor?

View Results