News Photogs Flock to Obama's White House

The Obama White House is serving as a convenient new employer for members of the media as news outlets downsize, but would they have felt so comfortable coming aboard a GOP President's staff? The latest hires: Three news photographers -- from Time magazine, Cox Newspapers and U.S. News & World Report magazine -- are joining the team of photographers snapping pictures at events and meetings in and around the White House complex.

The chief White House photographer, Pete Souza, “announced the hires to PDN,” DCRTV.com reported Thursday in picking up the item from the week before on the Photo District News site. Souza had already tapped photographers from the McClatchy-Tribune News Service and the Associated Press.

The March 24 PDNonline post, “Time Magazine's Top Photo Editor Exits for White House,” relayed the names of those leaving DC press corps slots for the Obama administration:

- “Alice Gabriner, chief picture editor and acting director of photography for Time, will become White House photo editor and deputy director for the photo office.”

- “Rick McKay, photo editor and photographer for Cox Newspapers's Washington bureau, will become a deputy photo editor at the White House. Cox...plans to shut down its Washington bureau next month.”

- “Jennifer Poggi, who had been photography deputy director at U.S. News & World Report, will also become a deputy photo editor in the White House.”
(U.S. News is going to monthly “consumer service” issues and moving what's left of its news operation online.)

PDNonline also reported: “Last month, Souza announced the hiring of photographers Chuck Kennedy of McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Lawrence Jackson of the Associated Press and freelancer Samantha Appleton to assist in White House coverage.”

Souza, the un-bylined PDNonline post noted, also went through the revolving door, but for a Republican President: “Souza is a former photojournalist for the Chicago Tribune and was a White House photographer for President Reagan. He joined the Obama administration in January.”
Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center