Revised Pool Report Policy Announced

Earlier on FishbowlDC: “White House Reporters Debate New Pool Policy” and “White House Correspondents Association Changes Pool Report Policy

An internal notice from the White House Correspondents Association, obtained by FishbowlDC:

    Minutes of WHCA Board Meeting November 20, 2008

    The board voted UNANIMOUSLY to approve a new print pool system for trips, an arrangement first proposed at the previous WHCA board meeting on Sept. 30 and offered since for members’ input.

    Highlights:

    New rotation: The White House will poll each news organization in the current in‑town rotation on their interest in being part of a new, parallel out‑of‑town, or travel, rotation for pool-only trips. The goal is to make participation in travel less expensive and time-consuming for any individual news organization, thereby broadening participation. In turn, news organizations would receive pool reports from all the pool trips, not just the ones they go on. This would take effect by Dec. 1, or as soon as the list can be set up by the White House. It is intended to be a 6-month trial. Newspapers can ask to combine together to represent one spot on the list.

    Pool report distribution: On pool‑only trips, pool reports will be sent to all news organizations on the out-of‑town list. On chartered/open trips, reports will go to all news organizations on the trip manifest as well as to the news organizations on the travel pool rotation list.

    Billing: Each news organizations in the travel rotation would be billed an equal share of the monthly cost of the print pooler, using the same billing system as for in-town pools. Billing for charters would remain the same. As guidance for news organizations considering participating in the new rotation, the three-month period from July-September 2008 gives a broad of idea of cost. If this rotation had existed during that period and 10 news organizations were on the list, they each would have been billed $980 per month for their share of pool travel. If there were five news organizations, they would have paid $1,960 each per month over that period.