martes, 10 de marzo de 2009

Viajar con Barack Obama

Hay viajes que deben ser obligatorios cuando se trabaja como corresponsal de un medio español en los Estados Unidos. Otra cosa, es que televisiones, radios o periódicos españoles se embarquen en la necesidad de contar en vivo y en directo como se trabaja cuando quien organiza el periplo no es otra que la llamada Casa Blanca. Esta vez la misiva es un aviso urgente para quienes quiera acompañar a Barack Obama en el que sera su primer periplo europeo. Lástima, no pasa por España pero promete ser de interés para casi todos. Los detalles son importantes para no dormirse en los laureles. La primera misiva es solo una primera toma de contacto. Advertencias que no llegan a los detalles, pero que confirman requisitos tan urgentes como necesarios. Los periodistas que viajen con Obama deben presentar una tarjeta de crédito con aval mínimo de 10 mil dólares. Detalles fotográficos, visas necesarias para entrar en Turquia, autorizaciones especiales, pasaporte con cinco hojas en blanco... son ya otros gajes del oficio. Aquí de momento, queda solo una mínima constancia de lo que es viajar por el mundo de la mano del presidente estadounidense y de su nutrido séquito entre el 30 de marzo y el 7 de abril.


THE WHITE HOUSE TRAVEL OFFICE

WASHINGTON, DC

TRIP OF THE PRESIDENT

TO

London, England; Strasbourg, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Ankara, Turkey; Istanbul, Turkey

March 30- April 7, 2009

MEMORANDUM TO THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORPS


TRIP OVERVIEW

The President will travel to London, England; Strasbourg, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Ankara, Turkey; and Istanbul Turkey. The Press Schedule will be released by the White House Press Office prior to departure.

DELIVERY OF COMPLETED

PRESS CHARTER

The White House press charter is tentatively scheduled to depart from Andrews Air Force Base on the evening of March 30th. The press corps will travel to London, England; Strasbourg, France; Prague, Czech Republic; Ankara, Turkey; and Istanbul, Turkey. The return flight to Andrews AFB is scheduled to depart Istanbul, Turkey on April 7th.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS

A valid passport and Turkish Visa is required for travel on the White House press charter or Air Force One. Please turn in your valid tourist passport, with five blank pages, and your completed Turkish Visa application to the White House Travel Office (via White House Lower Press Office) by noon on March 17, 2009. The White House Travel Office will hold your passport until departure. If you do not have a valid passport you will not be permitted to travel.

A visa is required for Turkey. Please fill out the Turkish Visa application attached to the travel sign-up email. Please make sure to include a passport size photo in the upper right corner where indicated. The White House Travel Office will obtain a Turkish visa for all press traveling aboard the White House Press Charter and Air Force one as long as the necessary documents have been submitted by the March 17, 2009 noon deadline.

HOTEL INFORMATION

The White House Travel Office is managing the hotel reservation process in conjunction with the U.S. Embassies in the respective countries. To sign-up for hotel accommodations you must be traveling on the White House Press Charter for at least one leg of the trip. You will need a valid credit card during the trip, which will be used for hotel room payment. By completing the sign-up form, you will be responsible for the hotel room nights marked.

CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES

This registration is in accordance with the 2004 White House Press Corps Policies and Procedures Manual. By signing up, you agree to its terms and conditions. A written request for cancellations or changes is mandatory anytime after a sign-up form is submitted. Cancellation requests are not a guarantee that services will not be billed according to the original set-up.

NECESSARY DOCUMENTS

IMPORTANT: You MUST bring your passport, with five blank pages, and your completed Turkish Visa application to the White House Travel Office (via White House Lower Press Office) by noon on March 17, 2009. The White House Travel Office will hold onto passports until departure from Andrews AFB. Upon arrival at Andrews AFB the White House Travel Office will turn passports over to the Customs and Border Protection agent.

EQUIPMENT LIST

Equipment lists are required for some host countries. The equipment list is attached to the travel notification e-mail. Please save equipment list as a Microsoft Word (2003 compatible) document and name file in the following manner: Lastname_Firstname_Organization_EquipmentList.doc.


*** AT&T will provide wi-fi access in each filing center. Wi-fi is a shared cost among all members of the press corps who request a credential and gain access to the press filing center.***



3. Workspace/Phone Line in Press File

Please indicate the number of phone lines you would like installed for your organization and the number of workspaces you require.


** Phone lines will be billed directly to the requesting media outlet.

** Please indicate the sharing news organization.

2009 WHITE HOUSE PRESS CORPS

BILLING PROFILE

This profile is for persons who have never traveled or who have not traveled since June 2008. You must set up a billing profile prior to travel. Your profile will be forwarded on to Travel Command, the billing service used by the White House Press Corps. A corporate credit card with a minimum of $10,000 available credit per traveler will be accepted; a debit card, personal credit cards, and checks are NOT accepted forms of payment. If your organization does not set up a profile with Travel Command, you cannot travel with the White House Press Corps.

AGENCY NAME:

TRAVELER NAME:

AGENCY ADDRESS:

BILLING CONTACT NAME:

BILLING CONTACT PHONE:

BILLING CONTACT ADDRESS:

PAYMENT:

MasterCard Visa American Express

BANK ASSOCIATED WITH CORPORATE CREDIT CARD:

CORPORATE CREDIT CARD ACCOUNT NUMBER:

EXPIRATION DATE (MANDATORY):

THE WHITE HOUSE

March 9, 2009

To Whom It May Concern:

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of specific policies and procedures pertaining to traveling with the President of the United States of America as a credentialed member of the press. Regardless of whether your organization is a member of The White House Correspondents Association (WHCA), signing up to travel with the President of the United States of America implies a contractual agreement to abide by the policies and procedures detailed in the 2004 White House Travel Office & White House Press Corps Travel Policies and Procedures manual.

Every organization is required to sign the letter on the following page as an acknowledgement of and agreement to the policies set forth in the 2004 White House Travel Office & White House Press Corps Travel Policies and Procedures manual. A copy of the signed letter must be returned to the White House Travel Office along with the Trip Sign-Up for the forthcoming 2009 Europe trip.

As a brief overview, White House press travel is funded solely through direct reimbursement from the news organizations traveling as a part of the White House Press Corps. Timely billing and reimbursement are critical to ensuring future support for the White House Press Corps.

At the conclusion of an international trip, manifest confirmation will be sent to the press distribution list within seven days. News organizations have five business days to respond in writing with any edits. After the five business days, refusal to pay or reversal of credit card charges will not be permitted. Failure to pay constitutes ground for denial of access to further WHTO charters or other services arranged under the terms of this policy.

Travel Command handles all billing for press expenses incurred while traveling with the President.