News | Published July 04 2020

Government to introduce daily televised press briefings

The UK government is planning to introduce daily televised press briefings in a similar format to those used by the White House, which will come in during the autumn of this year.

Planned to begin in October at the latest, the briefings would take place on the afternoon of every weekday.

An experienced figure from the broadcasting sphere will be brought in to host a question-and-answer session after each briefing.

Currently, political journalists can put questions to the prime minister’s official spokesperson twice per day off camera, but with these briefings being on record, they can be quoted. The new changes will now mean that these briefings are filmed.

Daily televised briefings are something the British public have become accustomed to of late, after the government introduced them during the Covid-19 pandemic to update the public on the spread of infection, guidelines and policy changes. These came in from March 16 amid criticism of a lack of transparency over the government’s response to the crisis.

These televised sessions ceased from June 23 when the rate of infection in the UK began to continually decline, after a total of 92 took place during the height of the lockdown.

However, prime minister Boris Johnson, who lead a number of the Covid-19 briefings, said that bringing in the new televised daily press briefings will help to further develop a “culture of transparency and openness”.

A similar daily press briefing system exists in the US, having first been introduced during Bill Clinton’s presidency. The daily White House briefings are delivered by the administration’s press secretary.

Incumbent US president Donald Trump had halted the press briefings for over a year before they were reintroduced back in May 2020.

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Authored by

Alexander Bridge-Wilkinson
Junior Editor
July 04 2020

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