Sean Spicer’s first press briefing contained a number of interesting tidbits, but hidden among them was some Microsoft news. The White House will be adding four seats to its press briefing via Skype this week.
The change seeks to bring stories to news outlets that don’t have a day pass at the White House. Reporters more than 50 miles outside of DC will have access to the Skype seats on a rotating basis.
“As you know, we’re all about big viewerships and large audiences here,” said Spicer. “As always, any organization is welcome to apply for a day pass. But we’re excited to open up into the field and fold here a diverse group of journalists from around the country who may not have the convenience or funding to travel to Washington. I think this can benefit us all by giving a platform to voices that are not necessarily based here in the beltway.”
It’s not yet known how the White House will accommodate for these changes. Spicer did not answer questions about how the reporters would be vetted, or which outlets will be chosen.
Microsoft is yet to comment on this issue, though several outlets have asked for a response. This announcement comes a week after reports of plans to move press briefings outside of the White House. Vice President Mike Pence said this was to “accommodate the extraordinary interest.”
No doubt the addition of Skype seats will do a similar thing. Spicer said the ultimate goal is to “have a healthy and open dialogue with the press corps. and the American people.”