“An open letter to Trump from the US press corps”   ◆

Columbia Journalism Review:

While the Constitution protects the freedom of the press, it doesn’t dictate how the president must honor that; regular press conferences aren’t enshrined in the document.

But while you have every right to decide your ground rules for engaging with the press, we have some, too. It is, after all, our airtime and column inches that you are seeking to influence. We, not you, decide how best to serve our readers, listeners, and viewers. So think of what follows as a backgrounder on what to expect from us over the next four years.

It goes on to list eight “ground rules”:

  • Access is preferable, but not critical.
  • Off the record and other ground rules are ours—not yours—to set.
  • We decide how much airtime to give your spokespeople and surrogates.
  • We decide how much airtime to give your spokespeople and surrogates.
  • We’ll obsess over the details of government.
  • We will set higher standards for ourselves than ever before.
  • We’re going to work together.
  • We’re playing the long game.

That last one is my favorite:

We’re playing the long game. Best-case scenario, you’re going to be in this job for eight years. We’ve been around since the founding of the republic, and our role in this great democracy has been ratified and reinforced again and again and again. You have forced us to rethink the most fundamental questions about who we are and what we are here for. For that we are most grateful.

Enjoy your inauguration.