A coalition of media organizations sent the White House an angry letter on Thursday, protesting the administration's apparent preference to block photojournalists from covering newsworthy events with the president — often on the grounds of "privacy" — only to later release "official" photos from Obama's own photographer after the fact. The White House Correspondents Association and a handful of other organizations argue that this practice is more or less the same as state censorship. It is, they write, "as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens."
The letter, also signed by the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Associated Press Managing Editors and the White House News Photographers Association, adds that "journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties." The letter provides a list of recent newsworthy events where photographers were restricted, including a meeting with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, a presidential meeting with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, and the First Family's meeting with Malala Yousafzai. The coalition also includes individual outlets, such as ABC News, Fox News Channel, The New York Times.