It doesn’t mat­ter where the press quar­ters are.

The Washington Post Sunday - - OUTLOOK - Twitter: @georgeecon­don Ge­orge E. Con­don Jr., the White House cor­re­spon­dent for Na­tional Jour­nal, has covered the White House since 1982 and is a for­mer pres­i­dent of the White House Cor­re­spon­dents’ Association.

This month, Esquire re­ported that the new ad­min­is­tra­tion was look­ing for ways to evict the press from its West Wing of­fices. Fox News com­men­ta­tor Sean Han­nity ap­plauded, sug­gest­ing that it is “time to just throw them all out and start over.” Var­i­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials said they would ac­tu­ally be do­ing the press a fa­vor, free­ing them of their cramped quar­ters and not­ing that they still would be on the 18-acre White House cam­pus.

This sounds re­as­sur­ing only if you don’t un­der­stand the im­por­tance of prox­im­ity to the White House press of­fices and the re­stric­tions al­ready slapped on cor­re­spon­dents. While they could re­port through­out the White House cam­pus be­fore the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion, to­day they can reach only the press of­fices. And tight space is never a last­ing con­cern. These are the early days of a new pres­i­dency, but soon the nov­elty will wear off — it al­ways does — and the fi­nan­cial re­al­i­ties of cov­er­ing the White House will set in for news or­ga­ni­za­tions. Where to­day you see re­porters crammed in for the daily brief­ing, to­mor­row you will see empty seats. And those who re­main will write bet­ter, more ac­cu­rate, more com­pre­hen­sive sto­ries in part be­cause of the ac­cess they re­tain.

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