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WH responds to press access issue

The White House on Thursday again vowed to address access for press photographers after sharp criticism that it did not offer enough during President Obama’s trip to South Africa.

During the White House briefing, press secretary Jay Carney took a barrage of testy — and sometimes shouted —  questions about press access to Obama during his speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service and the plane ride over.

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“I think our staff went to great lengths to get as much access for all of our traveling press as we could, in fact got exceptionally more access for our traveling press than we were told we would get,” Carney said, adding that many of the arrangements were worked out with foreign governments during overseas trips.

Nearly 40 news outlets and organizations signed a letter last month saying previous administrations have allowed more access to the president.

The American Society of News Editors and The Associated Press Media Editors encouraged other news outlets to stop using the White House’s official photos, calling them “propaganda.”

The Associated Press director of photography released an op-ed on Thursday criticizing the administration, with the headline "Obama's Orwellian image control."  

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