ABC’s Jessica Yellin blogs about the new press digs over at Jackson Place.
Here’s what’s good about the space: the carpet is clean; there’s about a foot more room in our 4-person booth than in the previous workspace; there are no visible dust balls, mold stains, or hairspray-covered surfaces.
Here’s what’s bad about it: we’re even more cut off from the workings of the White House than we were previously. When we worked on White House grounds we had ideal real estate — the briefing room was located between the President’s residence and the West Wing. From the driveway we could see who was arriving for West Wing meetings (the unannounced arrival of a Senator would send us running to the phones) or we might bump into an advisor entering the complex and have a telling chat. Now that we’re off the property we miss the essential comings and goings and that’s bound to impact our coverage.
Then there’s the intimacy issue. The network booths are in a warren of cubby-like offices separated by paper thin partitions that don’t reach the ceiling. That means we can hear everything our competition is saying — and vice versa. If you think all the news stations seem to report the same stories all the time, imagine what might happen after we’ve been listening to one another for a few weeks. Hard to keep secrets here.
Just wait until reporters discover the hidden microphones placed all over the joint by the NSA. Then David Gregory is going to get really mad…