White House is now using Skype for high-tech press briefings

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The daily White House press briefing went high-tech Wednesday. Press secretary Sean Spicer fielded questions from journalists around the country who participated via Skype, alongside their Washington-based colleagues in the room.

Spicer said at his first briefing last month that he planned to open the daily Q-and-A session to journalists who live more than 50 miles away from Washington as well as to news organizations whose reporters lack passes that grant daily access to the building.

"I think this can benefit us all by giving a platform to voices that are not necessarily based here in the Beltway," Spicer said at the time, using the nickname for I-495, the interstate highway that encircles Washington.

On Wednesday, Spicer delivered his customary opening statement, then turned to Kimberly Kalunian, a general assignment reporter at WPRI-TV, a CBS affiliate in Spicer's native Rhode Island, to ask the first question.

Frank Sesno, director of the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, called the addition of Skype questioners an "interesting and even refreshing development." Sesno, a former White House correspondent for CNN, said the questions asked by these outside reporters will be very different from the questions that will be asked by those seated in the briefing room. read more...

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