Rosen to Press Corps: Evacuate the White House!


PressThink's Jay Rosen has a solution for journos who complain about the White House's stand-offish 'tude to the press: Quit the press room and talk to non-admin sources who will cough up information.

When being inside gets you nowhere, you have nothing to lose by developing a more "outside" approach to the beat. If the White House is thinking post-press, (a description I believe accurate) then the press room becomes a space the Administration has already vacated. And that is the sound you hear when Scott McClellan steps to the podium. Instead of venting about the awfulness of the briefing, recognize that the decision to empty it out was made a while ago. Bush already left the marriage.

In an outside beat, you still try to find out what's going on with the Bush Administration; you stay with the story. The title, White House Correspondent, does not change. But you abandon hope of getting there the inside way. Instead, you interview "around" the White House, which means investing primarily in other sources who have parts of the puzzle. Most especially this means sources in Congress. Sometimes the agencies. Sometimes the opposition. Sometimes it is the American people who are the outside source because they always have parts of the puzzle.

Whole thing here.