As Donald Trump takes the podium in the briefing room for the first time, we look back at the legacy of the White House Press Corps.
On the heels of one of the country’s most historic elections, all eyes are once again on the White House. And according to a report from the DC-based nonprofit Freedom House, Americans are among just 14 percent of the world population with eyes not just on but inside— thanks to the White House Correspondents Association. The men and women in this coalition have dedicated their careers to setting the standard for a strong free press. This January White House correspondents will file into the West Wing’s James S. Brady Press Briefing Room to cover the new leader of the free world. As Donald Trump and his press secretary take the podium for the first time, the messages of the Oval Office—the who, what, when of the White House—will be transmitted across the country and around the globe.
Here in DC, we have the unique feeling of being so close to the action that we’re practically in on it. And so, on the brink of this monumental transition, the question remains: Will this administration present new challenges to the WHCA in carrying out its century-old mission? Or will the windows to the inside open wider? In just a few weeks, the new president and new press secretary will face the White House press corps—and through them, the nation—like the presidents and press secretaries for 103 years before them. Even so, we’ll watch like it’s the first time, because for them, it will be. Lights, camera, let’s get to work!