As journalists, we strive to offer independent coverage whether its breaking news, investigative stories, and individual or business profiles, for example. That includes photos.
Yet the White House has imposed what news organizations, including The Tribune, believe are unprecedented limitations on photojournalists covering President Barack Obama.
Instead of allowing journalists to cover some public events, its banning them then releasing its own photos and videos, using social media to help spread the word.
Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the president while he is performing his official duties, according to the recent letter sent by 38 news organizations to the White House, the Associated Press reported. As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalists camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the executive branch of government.
As a result of this policy, our parent company, Sacramento-based McClatchy Co., other newspapers, all major broadcast and cable networks, wire services and online services have lodged an official complaint. Were seeking a meeting with the White House to discuss the issue.
In the meantime, The Tribune and editors of McClatchys 29 other daily newspapers have agreed not to publish photos issued by the White House.
Although this wont be a significant departure from current practices, we think its important to take a stance that helps send the message that the limited access works against the publics interests, diminishes the flow of information and often creates an inaccurate portrait of events in the White House, said Anders Gyllenhaal, McClatchys vice president of news.
The only exception: when access by a news photographer is not possible for national security reasons, such as the photo of White House staff members gathered during the bin Laden raid. Well continue to consider these exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
Q: Wheres the news? The Nov. 17 article covering the entire front page about Mrs. Heidi Cruz was very nice, and I am proud she is from San Luis Obispo. But I dont see the news in that article and believe it belonged in the editorial or (Central Coast) Living section of the paper. I do believe it was placed there as propaganda for the Republican Party. The integrity of this newspaper has suffered greatly. Please get back to reporting the news. John Elliott, Morro Bay
Q: Thank you for your exceptionally well-written article about Heidi Cruz in last Sundays Tribune. Like him or not, Senator Ted Cruz has made his mark on the national level in a very short time and is likely to be a political force in the future. I had no idea his wife was from SLO, so it was interesting and informative to learn about her background and her views on her husband and other matters. And I cannot close my message without also thanking you for writing your article without a single hint of political bias. That was refreshing and is all-too-rare these days. Robert Olson, Arroyo Grande
A: Clearly, staff reporter Patrick S. Pembertons story on Heidi Cruz struck a nerve. We wrote the story and published it on the front page because it offered a closer look at a San Luis Obispo native whose husband, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, helped force ashutdown of the federal government. Not only did the article disclose Heidi Cruzs professional success in politics and finance, but it also shared her insight into Ted Cruzs beliefs. In addition, we suspect that most readers, like writer Robert Olson above, werent aware of her SLO roots.
Do you have a question about the newspaper, our website or our coverage? If so, please write me c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406-0112, or email me at email@example.com. Follow me on Twitter @SandraDuerr.