The New York Times made a splash today in announcing its six-person deployment for covering the Trump White House.
They’ll have company. The Post is also going with a six-reporter rotation, according to National editor Scott Wilson. The crew is up from four reporters at the start of the Obama administration. “This is in part due to the fact we have a larger national staff broadly — so can commit more to the White House — and because of the additional responsibilities our White House reporters will be asked to take on from eight years ago, including more commitment to video, social media platforms and multimedia efforts,” Wilson notes in an email. The commitment was determined before the New York Times made its announcements today that Glenn Thrush of Politico would join the team, and that Peter Baker, the short-lived Jerusalem bureau chief, will head back home to supplement the reporting.
The Post hasn’t named all the players on its White House team, though an announcement will be coming soon. One of them is Ashley Parker, a reporter The Post hired away from the New York Times after the election.
A “far larger” congressional team is also taking form at The Post, notes Wilson. “We are also increasing the size of our desk responsibility for coverage of issues and breaking news outside the Beltway by more than 50 percent,” he writes via email. “So we’re not just strengthening our Washington coverage, but also our journalism that is designed to explore and explain the country.”
The country needs explaining. In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s surprise victory, the mainstream media has sustained a great deal of criticism regarding its assessment of the movement behind Trump. Wilson, however, says that the coverage expansion isn’t hitched to that backlash. “I’m proud of how early we took him seriously. That said, this is a moment when a divisive, unorthodox election has revealed much about the concerns, prevalent among political partisans and agnostics alike, over the direction of the country. We intend to define, explain and understand those concerns and their causes.”
More to come from the Erik Wemple Blog on White House deployments.