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The Office of Press Operations responds to queries and interview requests from journalists related to U.S. foreign policy, and coordinates press briefings and media events.

Hours of Operation

8:15 am – 5:00 pm Monday through Friday

Journalists may contact the Office of Press Operations via email

Outside of regular business hours, journalists can reach a Press Duty Officer Monday through Friday until 9:00 pm and Saturday, Sunday, and holidays from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm. The Press Duty Officer can be reached by email at

Interview Requests for State Department Officials

Send an email to with the subject and deadline.

Access to Media Events

**Please Note: Until further notice, all events are pooled press.**

Accredited journalists and technicians are welcome to attend open press events in the Department.

Along with an official government photo identification (i.e., U.S. driver’s license or passport), they will need to present one of the following as identification:

  1. A U.S. Government-issued photo media credential (e.g., White House, Department of Defense, Foreign Press Center, Congress), or
  2. An official photo identification card issued by their news organization, or
  3. A letter from their employer on official letterhead verifying their current employment as a journalist.

Non-hard pass holders wishing to attend the Department Press Briefing or cover an open press event may enter/exit through the 23rd Street lobby on regular work days, Monday-Friday, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm. They will be cleared through security at the 23rd Street lobby and issued a day pass by a uniformed Protective Service Officer, valid for that day only. Day pass holders have unescorted access to the second floor – the Office of Press Relations (2109), the Press Briefing Room (2209), the Correspondents’ Room (2310) and the Mezzanine balcony (east and west sides). If an event is to be held elsewhere in the building, all press will be escorted by Department employees. The badge must be turned in upon departure.

The 23rd Street lobby is the primary pick-up point for escort to events. Outside the 8:00 am – 4:00 pm hours, the pick-up point is typically the C Street lobby. Day pass holders do not have access via C Street, unless with pre-arranged escort by a Department employee for an interview or event. All camera set-up times and pick-up times will be posted in the Daily Public Schedule online.

The Office of Press Operations may recommend that Diplomatic Security issue a long-term “hard” building pass to journalists and media technicians who demonstrate a frequent (three times per week) need to be in the State Department. Application forms are available from the Press Office, Room 2109, Harry S. Truman Building. Applicants must return completed forms to the Press Office in person, along with a letter from his/her employer and proof of citizenship. Reporters from non-U.S.-based media organizations must bring a letter from the embassy of the country in which the organization is based attesting to the bona fides of the media organization. Issuance of the pass is contingent upon a background check by the Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security. Press hard pass holders do not have escort privileges.

Ground Rules for Interviewing State Department Officials

Ground rules must be agreed upon at the beginning of a conversation or an interview with State Department officials. The discussion should proceed only after you and the officials are clear on exactly how the information can be used or attributed.

On the Record
Information may be quoted directly and attributed to the official by name and title.

On Background
The official’s remarks may be quoted directly or paraphrased and are attributed to a “State Department official” or “Administration official,” as determined by the official.

On Deep Background
The official cannot be quoted or identified in any manner, not even as “an unnamed source.” The information is usually couched in such phrases as “it is understood that” or “it has been learned.” The information may be used in the reporting to help present or gain a better understanding of the subject, but the knowledge is that of the reporter not the source.

Off the Record
Nothing of what the journalist is told may be used in the story. The information is meant only for the education of the reporter.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future