Do the Networks have multiple reporters in the White House press pool?

I saw one reference to this and nothing more. I can’t find that link again.

Do the Networks have multiple reporters in the White House press pool?

For example, does CNN have several reporters representing their organization in the pool? Is Jim Acosta their only reporter at the White House? It would be helpful to know if the person or the organization’s rights are at stake in this legal confrontation. Does banning one disruptive reporter leave CNN without any representation at the White House?

A reminder that this is GQ. Please avoid stating any strong opinions on this matter. I’m trying to better understand the issue and get this question answered.

Follow up, if there is only one seat per organization, can’t that organization send a different reporter to represent their interests?

I understand the actual briefing room has limited space to accommodate many different news organizations.

What happens when someone gets sick?

Question assumes that Acosta was banned just for being disruptive. I would assume that the effected organization could just send out another reporter…but said reporter might think that his organization won’t back her/him up if the same excuse is used to ban that reporter, and might tailor the questions so as to not upset the person she/he is questioning.

The larger news organizations typically have more than one reporter covering the White House, but because of seating limitations, each organization only gets one seat at a White House press briefing.

Last time I heard, CNN had 8 or 9 people assigned to the WH, but several of them were producers who don’t appear on-air.

The question assumes no such thing…you brought that in (to GQ) yourself. The answer to the question is that networks could assign another reporter if they chose (IIRC, each network gets one slot at the actual press conferences). They might not choose to depending on the circumstances, but they still have a slot for a reporter.

From the OP:

It brings up both CNN and Acosta, and labels Acosta as “disruptive”.

I was defining the issue as it’s been reported. Acosta was banned for disrupting a WH briefing. A court has already issued a preliminary injunction on this matter.

I’m not commenting on whether it is or isn’t justified.

It’s helpful to understand how that action impacts the organization he represents.

But the GQ QUESTION is ‘Do the Networks have multiple reporters in the Whith House press pool?’ You are nitpicking one word in the OP because you don’t think Acosta was or is ‘disruptive’. Whether he is or isn’t is irrelevant to the question being asked.

Some organizations have multiple reporters at the White House, and only one is allowed to be at a press briefing at a time, but just throwing the next reporter in if one is kicked out doesn’t solve the problem of why a reporter was kicked out and how to stop it from happening again.

Which is irrelevant to the actual question. Anyway, I’ll leave it there.

Thank you.

I’ve had little success in researching the WH press pool and the number of journalists. Which news organizations have representatives etc.

If the question in the OP is ‘Do the Networks have multiple reporters in the White House press pool?’, then the answer is a simple “Yes, some do”.

I’m assuming the word “disruptive” isn’t central to your question, right?

Even then, though, I think there’s an error in your thinking, namely, that reporters aren’t fungible. Presumably CNN puts Acosta there not because they drew his name out of a hat, but because they believe he’s the best employee to have there. If they have ten thousand other reporters that they’re welcome to put there instead, but Acosta is the one they want, then their organizational rights are still at stake.


Let’s drop the question of whether or not Acosta was being disruptive. Responses should focus on the question of whether news organizations have multiple reporters in the White House press pool.

General Questions Moderator

In my extremely limited experience, to get press accreditation almost anywhere, you need to show some value to the accrediting agency. Mostly this just means being sponsored by your publisher, or presenting evidence of your published work. But for more important events, there is always an absolute number which is the size of the total press pool, with subdivisions in that.

So I would expect that, as well as having a press conference seat, the networks have a limit on the number of White House passes they get, and that number is subject to negotiation with the White House, because they are in competition with everybody else for the allocation of those spots. And in that negotiation, they have to justify why they need that many spots. And so “we have a spare journalist present in case one gets sick” isn’t going to cut it. Bottom line: they run on a skeleton crew.

I note that apparently, Acosta didn’t just loose his seat in the press conference: he lost his press accreditation. That means he’s not getting press releases in his pigeon hole. Those press releases won’t be going automatically to his camera man: his network needs to bring in and get accredited a new person. I assume that the WH would expedite that, in support of the argument that Acosta was banned for personal behavior, but they are in control of that.

In the event, I see that the WH has restored accreditation: I think that’s a recognition of what an organizational mess suddenly revoking accreditation causes. I’m sure that a big part of the objection of the press core wasn’t just about the freedom of the press, it was about things like job security and getting the product out every day, on time.

So you’re saying you didn’t look at the Wiki page White House press corps, which gives the name and affiliation of every current member?

No, they really don’t. CNN has 13 accredited White House correspondents.

No, it was all about the freedom of the press to ask uncomfortable questions.

I had briefly looked at this. It didn’t say much about staffing the pool or how many seats are available in the briefing room.


Again, let’s keep political aspects of this out of this thread.

General Questions Moderator

So maybe I failed to glean this out of the posts above, but what prevents someone like Trump from just saying “Only Fox News reporters permitted in my press conference area?” Is there an external legal right for various networks to have a seat?