Cameroonian Journalist battles White House over press access


After bringing a lawsuit against the White House to challenge the cancellation of his press pass, Cameroonian journalist Simon Ateba has continued to battle the administration.

In recent interviews and posts on social media, Mr. Ateba has alleged that the White House has discriminated against him because of his colour, for asking challenging questions, and because he works for a smaller news organisation.

According to a lawsuit Mr. Ateba filed last Thursday against White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre and the Secret Service, the White House singled him out and instituted a credentialing process to prevent him from renewing his press pass.

More than 400 additional White House reporters also lost their permits as a result of the rule change, including Mr. Ateba.

According to the revised guidelines, Mr. Ateba is not eligible to receive a White House press pass since Today News Africa, the news organisation he owns and operates, is not seen as a reliable source of information.

A protracted dispute between Mr. Ateba, Ms. Jean-Pierre, the White House press office, and several White House journalists who objected to Mr. Ateba’s repeated interruptions culminated in his ban and subsequent lawsuit.

He received a warning from the White House last month that if he continued to disrupt the briefings, he would lose his press credentials.

At least four times, he had interrupted briefings to chastise Ms. Jean-Pierre for consistently denying him the chance to ask questions.


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