BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU) - A number of reporters from major media outlets were blocked from joining a scheduled media briefing with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Friday.
CNN, The New York Times, and Politico were among the outlets not allowed into the press gaggle that was held inside Spicer’s office. Some of those of those organizations called it an unprecedented act of retaliation.
At UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, word of the decision had students talking.
“It’s a really interesting time to be a journalist and to want to be a journalist,” Pablo De La Hoya, a first year graduate student, said.
“I think it’s pretty consistent with the tactics he’s been following,” added Abner Hauge, another graduate student.
Breitbart News and The Washington Times were let into the meeting, along with NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox News. Reporters from the Associated Press, Time Magazine, and USA Today chose not to attend in protest.
“I think that’s absolutely the right attitude to take and I applaud those reporters,” graduate student Andrew Beale said.
Ed Wasserman, Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, said the standoff between the Trump administration and the media is beneficial to both sides.
“Ratings are up for the media and Trump gets enormous rapturous perceptions when he goes before conservative audiences,” Wasserman said.
Although, he said the standoff may not be good for the public if reporting resources focus on the squabble and are diverted away from the impact of Trump’s policies.
“He’s using this as a way to prepare to discredit reports that may be strongly reported and of great public significance,” Wasserman added.
Students said the Trump administrations action strengthens their resolve to pursue a career in journalism.
“It’s a new era, it’s a new time,” De La Hoya added. “It’s a time where journalism has an opportunity to prove itself to the American people.”
A White House spokeswoman responded to the decision. She said the briefing was for pool reporters so everyone was represented, but they also decided to invite additional reporters.