Downie: Besides the question of a boycott, are there alternative approaches to dealing with the Trump White House that either of you would like to see media organizations try?
Wemple: That is a good question. While there are several challenges, I do believe that over the transition and into the Trump presidency, the media as a whole has done pretty good work, as opposed to a spottier record during the campaign. There has been a lot of shoe-leather reporting going on, and the great story thus far of the Trump White House is the willingness of people who work there to leak to the media. Perhaps that’ll diminish as the inner circle does more and more phone checks and the like — but it’s not as if the past five weeks have been a shameful run.
Rosen: I am on record with “send the interns” and shift to an “outside-in” approach rather than inside-out. I would like to see those tried. But more fundamental than either of those ideas is the simple recognition that this time it’s different. Covering Trump and his White House is not like covering previous administrations. While that may seem obvious, it has huge consequences. It means that normal routines may be completely inappropriate to the new situation. And it means that the White House press corps has to come up with new ideas in order to do its job. That’s not what the members signed up for.