In American politics, a press release refers to an informal briefing that is held by the White House and is off-camera. Although registered, event registration is not allowed. It is an opportunity for journalists to ask questions of the White House press secretary, and in general there is a wide variety of media.
On February 24, 2017, it was announced that a meeting would be held in the White House meeting room. However, in an unusual change of events, only invited journalists were allowed to participate. Many important media were not invited to the group. In this particular episode, CBS, ABC and FOX were all invited, while CNN, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Buzzfeed and Politico were excluded. Some outlets like the Associated Press have chosen not to attend the group as a form of protest against the way it was organized.
CNN News called the exclusion of several media “unacceptable” and tweeted the statement “apparently, that’s what they retaliate when they denounce facts that they don’t like. We will continue to report regardless.” The New York Times also reacted to the event, stating that “nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties”.
The Assosciation of White House correspondents (WHCA) also stated in writing that it had excluded the media shells from the group. “The WHCA council is strongly protesting against the way the group today is run by the White House,” they released in a statement. “We encourage organizations that have been authorized to share material with other members of the press that were not, the council will discuss it further with the White House staff.”