Conservative outlets get more official seats in White House briefing room

White House press secretary Sean Spicer speaks during a the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, June 26, 2017. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

For the past two administrations the WHCA, not the White House, has determined the seating in the briefing room. | Getty

More conservative outlets have official seats in the White House briefing room according to a new seating chart the White House Correspondents’ Association unveiled on Friday.

Conservative television networks Newsmax and One America News as well as the British newspaper The Daily Mail now all have spots, though One America News’ is shared with the BBC. Other changes enacted since the last time the seating chart was adjusted in 2015 include the Huffington Post and the Spanish-language television network Univision getting shared seats. While the first row remains the same, populated by the major television networks and wires, USA Today has moved up to the second row, switching spots with AP Radio.

For the past two administrations the WHCA, not the White House, has determined the seating in the briefing room, though White House officials have previously suggested they may seek to make changes in the future.

“The board considered multiple criteria during this decision-making process, including regular briefing attendance and commitment to the White House beat, we did not want scarce real estate going unused,” WHCA President Jeff Mason wrote in an email to the association. “We also looked at news outlets’ audiences, both in terms of reach and in terms of preserving (or in some cases adding) diversity in the briefing room. We took stock of the changing landscape of our industry. Weighing these and other factors, we worked through what is always a difficult process affecting news outlets, colleagues and friends.”

Hadas Gold is a reporter at Politico.

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