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First Indian-American elected to board of White House Correspondents Association

Anita Kumar has become the first Indian-American to be elected to the board of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), more than a century-old apex body of journalists covering the US president.

Kumar, who has been covering the White House since 2012, was elected unopposed to the WHCA Board.

Born and brought up in Charlottesville, she went to the University of Virginia. After college, she started her journalism career from the News and Advance in Lynchburg, Virginia and the News and Record in Greensboro, North Carolina.

St Petersburg Times, now known as The Tampa Bay Times, was her first major organisation, where she worked for 10 years before moving to the US capital.

Kumar is now the White House Correspondent for the McClatchy group of newspapers.

“Last year, when I ran for the first time, and I ran for the president. A  few people encouraged me to run for the president of the body because they thought this would be such a statement to the Trump White House that somebody like me and a woman would be the (WHCA) president,” she told PTI in an interview.

Now covering the White House for the second president, she feels that access to journalists has been an issue in both the presidency she covered.

“They (journalists) want more briefings. They want more on the record statements. They want more access to other people besides (the White House Press Secretary) Sarah Sanders. They want the press office people to return their emails. That’s a big problem to get anyone to respond and answer any questions,” she said.

The board of the WHCA has nine members.

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