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RSF Marks Anniversary of Trump Daily TV Briefing Moratorium

Commemorating the March 11 one-year anniversary since the last daily televised White House press briefing with the White House press secretary, Reporters Without Borders released an analysis of what it says have been the Trump Administration's efforts to "strategically restrict press access."

Even before the daily briefings were cancelled, the report said, they were in "steady decline," being increasingly replaced by "chopper talks" by the President between Marine One and the White House. 

RSF said that those less formal opportunities have been a way for the President to control the narrative and "evade accountability." Formal White House press briefings by the Trump Administration were far outstripped at the same point in their first terms by both Trump's predecessors. 

In President Trump’s first three years in office, the White House has had a total of 158 press briefings with a press secretary taking questions, compared to 399 under President Obama and 351 under George W. Bush in their first three years.  

There were only 93 such briefings in 2017, 63 in 2018 and only two in 2019 before they were terminated. Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who took over in July 2019, has held none. 

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.