At Blue House, press briefings begin first day of new system

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At Blue House, press briefings begin first day of new system

The Blue House yesterday began a new briefing system for the press, which allows all reporters free access to the Blue House press center.
Reporters’ visits to the Blue House had been previously restricted. Only those media who were considered influential and who received permission from the Blue House could send their reporters to the president’s office. Once there, the reporters were able to hobnob with officials in order to obtain information.
But the Roh Moo-hyun government has revamped the system and formulated a briefing system for the press, in which all registered reporters would listen to briefings from Blue House spokesmen and representatives, and freely ask questions.
With the new measure, the number of reporters registered to make Blue House appearances increased from 87 to 274, and that of press agencies, from 49 to 164.
At President Roh Moo-hyun’s press conference in the briefing room yesterday, marking the first day of the system, 188 reporters from 126 press agencies were present. Reporters from such new Internet news media as OhmyNews and Pressian showed up. Weeklies, monthlies and sports-specialized newspapers also sent their reporters to the conference. Yesterday’s question-and-answer session gave equal opportunity to all media.
The Blue House said it will restrict reporters who fail to attend more than 90 percent of the briefings for the next three months.

by Kim Sung-tak

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