We missed this last week, but the White House Correspondents’ Association unveiled an updated seating chart for the White House briefing room.
Most of the 49 spots remain unchanged. The biggest differences are that BuzzFeed and Al Jazeera now have partial seats (they’re sharing them with other news organizations) and The Hill has moved up one row.
The reorganization also changed the desk and booth assignments behind the scenes. Both types of slots – briefing room and desks – are allocated based off several factors, including tenure, who actually shows up to the briefings, and the audience of the publication (hence why the TV and wire services have the front row). If an organization doesn’t show up to the briefings every day, they’re less likely to keep their seat.
Reuter’s Jeff Mason, who ran the review, said in a statement the changes came after a months-long process.
“The review took months to complete and was approved unanimously by the WHCA board after careful consultation with and input from all of the affected organizations. We’re confident that we’ve made gentle adjustments that give designated spots to the reporters who use them most,” Mason said. “The board reviews press seating and work space on a regular basis. Members of the media are welcome to cover the briefing or work from the White House press area, designated seat or not. We continue to fight for press access for everyone who wishes to cover the White House at the regular briefings and beyond.”