This week’s segment of “On The Media” focused on and also critiqued the relationship between President Obama’s cabinet and the White House Press Core. It would seem that this press association is “fed-up.” Various reporters argue that they are marginalized and cannot receive a straight and specific answer on certain situations; “information is almost always on ‘background’, meaning no one’s name gets attached to the story, so no one’s responsible, and no official is found accountable.” In many ways the Press Core is fed up with these avoidance techniques and is demanding answers.
However, something the Obama administration is very consistent with, is replying to small town reporters, which, in a way makes up for his avoidance of the White House Press Core, since his responsibility is technically to “the American people” said one of the interviewees on the segment. President Obama recently met with 8 local reporters and amongst them was “Kevin Oagel”, a reporter from Oklahoma City who had the opportunity to interview president Obama. During the interview, Oagel states that he did not really ask any follow up questions, and the interview had a more light-hearted playful feel to it. Another local reporter, Susan Peters, chose her interview questions for the president a bit more carefully. She was “aggressive in questions about tax exemptions on Oklahoma’s aircraft facilities.” Although Peter’s agreed that the president and his administration can better reach the people through local correspondents like herself, the Press Core still plays is vital role in asking the crucial questions that local reporters don’t have the experience to ask. She also affirmed that The Press Core has the necessary “perspective” and background behind certain questions to get a somewhat straight answer out of Obama and his administration.
Hearing both arguments made me understand the dynamic between all of the parties, and I have reached a conclusion; both the Press Core and local reporters are pertinent when deciding how the American people receive the news. The Press Core has a right to be frustrated with the administration’s way of engaging with them; however, local reporters seem like an equally useful channel, considering local news channels are one of the most important vehicles when trying to reach the common people.