The White House press corps is likely to get a diversity makeover as news organizations prepare for the Obama administration. Beat assignments haven't been announced, but Liberian-born New York Times reporter Helene Cooper will be on the White House beat, sources tell Politico. Although it isn't necessary to have black journalists cover the first African-American president, the "racial context" might help, said one reporter.
Black-oriented publications like Ebony and Jet are gearing up, too. "There wasn't a lot of attention to African-Americans in the Bush administration," said the mags' editorial director. But newcomers to the beat may not have the access they're accustomed to elsewhere. "I think people who haven't covered the White House will be surprised how rigid they are about rules," one veteran warned.