Under the new scheme, blasted as “madness” by reporters, a common eight-person news team would cost $1,360 for just one day of coverage
The Joe Biden administration is reportedly set to charge White House correspondents $170 a pop for daily coronavirus tests, stoking anger among reporters, some noting the move could cost struggling newsrooms thousands per week.
The White House press office will begin charging for the tests next week, the Washington Post reported on Friday, observing that the costs effectively amount to an “admission fee” for journalists covering the administration.
While the White House has absorbed the testing costs to date, after nearly a year of daily screenings they have become a financial burden for the government, the Post said, prompting the push for news outlets to foot the bill.
The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) – a body that represents reporters and arranges credentialing – and a litany of journalists have sounded alarms over the proposal, some suggesting the move will interfere with citizens’ ability to remain informed, and may even infringe free speech rights.