Editors of The Associated Press condemned the White House’s refusal to give photojournalists real access to President Obama, who prefers to circulate press release-style pictures taken by his own paid photographers.
These official photographs are little more than propaganda, according to AP director of photography Santiago Lyon.
The AP has only been permitted to photograph the president alone in the Oval Office on two occasions–both in his first term–and has never been allowed to photograph the president with his staff in the office.
The AP generally receives access when foreign leaders are visiting, but at other times the White House relies on its own photographers to take pictures and distribute them to the press.
Previous administrations were less strict about photos, undermining Obama’s frequent claim that he strives to run “the most transparent administration” in history.
Lyon made his remarks at the AP Media Editors national conference in Indianapolis on Wednesday.
AP executive editor Kathleen Carroll echoed Lyon’s concerns.