Government to hold daily televised press briefings

Published by Florence McCrae on July 5th 2020, 9:09am

A Downing Street source has revealed government plans to introduce daily televised press briefings in the Autumn of this year.

The new format, expected to be similar to that used by the White House, is to be brought in by October at the latest. The briefings would take place every weekday afternoon.

An experienced broadcaster will be recruited to host the question-and-answer sessions following the daily broadcast. At present, political journalists are able to question the official spokesperson for the prime minister twice daily off camera. However, these briefings are still on record which allows them to be quoted. The changes implemented will mean the briefings are also filmed.

During the pandemic, the government held daily briefings to update the general public on policy changes. A total of 92 briefings took place during the height of lockdown. Johnson believes that the introduction of filmed daily press briefings will “introduce a culture of transparency and openness”.

The coronavirus briefings, which started on 16 March, following criticism surrounding a lack of transparency over government actions regarding the pandemic, and concluded on 23 June. The press briefings were often headed by the prime minster, who was accompanied by scientific and medical experts.

The White House has held daily press briefings since the Clinton administration, which have since been delivered by the administration’s press secretary.

Current president, Donald Trump, stopped the press briefings for over a year. The first briefing in 459 days was held in May of this year under Kayleigh McEnany, the US Press Secretary.

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Florence McCrae
Literary Editor
July 5th 2020, 9:09am

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