From time to time this blog features posts on individual rooms in the White House. The focus of this post is the Brady Press Briefing Room named in honor of James Brady, press secretary to President Ronald Reagan, who was shot and wounded along with President Reagan in the assassination attempt on the President in 1981. The briefing room is located over the indoor swimming pool (which is still there). President Nixon had it covered to allow more space to accommodate the need to address the growing demand for television news. The room accommodates 48 stadium-like seats and opens on to the West Colonnade with access to the Rose Garden so that reporters can make a quick exit to cover outside events on the White House grounds.
The seating chart (seen here) is assigned by the White House Correspondents' Association, not the White House. There is a pecking order generally in terms of which correspondents get to ask the first questions of the Press Secretary or the President. Usually the wire services are first, followed by the major cable and broadcast networks.