A photographer from the New York Times (NYT) has a stack of pictures that were taken at official events at the White House involving President Obama; however these pictures are not allow to be made public.

Indeed, it has become obvious that “journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties.”

White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) members (including the NYT photographer) came to Jay Carney, spokesperson for the White House, with this problem; comparing it to Russian controlled media.

Orig.src_.Susanne.Posel_.Daily_.News-size0-600x400Because images of the president are used by independent and alternative media, as well as corporate-sponsored, the way in which Obama is portrayed is important.

In controlling access to images of the president, this is one way of making sure Obama’s image remains intact.

This causes a monopoly on information.

In a letter to the WHCA, members of the press stated: “As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist’s camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government.”

Those who signed the letter to Carney includes:

• American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE)
• Associated Press Managing Editors (APME)
• White House News Photographers Association (WHNPA)
• Associated Press
• CNN
• ABC
• FoxNews
• Reuters
• New York Times
• Washington Post
• Yahoo News

Photographs end up in the hands of independent and alternative media which make the president look bad.

Contained in the letter: “Previous administrations have recognized this, and have granted press access to visually cover precisely these types of events, thus creating government transparency. It is clear that the restrictions imposed by your office on photographers undercuts the President’s stated desire to continue and broaden that tradition. To exclude the press from these functions is a major break from how previous administrations have worked with the press.”

The letter goes on to assert that Obama promised to have the most transparent administration in history; as well as boundaries that “raise constitutional concerns” and amount to “arbitrary restraint and unwarranted interference on legitimate newsgathering activities.”

Regardless of national security, the Obama administration has actively restricted access to independent media from infiltrating mainstream audiences and influencing public opinion.

While state-funded media is encouraged to give the official story, skeptical criticism of the current presidency is not tolerated. To control the press, Obama has taken technological advancements toward making media centralized and empowering the institutionalization of information.

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