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Obama takes questions from only female reporters

By Alexandra Jaffe, CNN
updated 4:57 PM EST, Fri December 19, 2014

(CNN) -- President Barack Obama took eight questions during his Friday press conference — and all of them from women journalists.

It was an unusual and deliberate move, considering the White House press corps has been historically dominated by men. Indeed, the first woman to cover the president, United Press International journalist Helen Thomas, didn't join their ranks until 1960.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained that the White house realized it had an opportunity to highlight the number of women who cover the White House as it compiled the list of reporters for Obama to call on.

"The fact is, there are many women from a variety of news organizations who day-in and day-out do the hard work of covering the President of the United States," Earnest said.

White House officials also decided to call on news organizations that had not questioned Obama since the midterm election.

The female reporters Obama called on Friday, in order:

Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico (Obama joked with Budoff Brown about her upcoming move to Europe)

Cheryl Bolen, Bloomberg

Julie Pace, Associated Press

Lesley Clark, McClatchy

Roberta Rampton, Reuters

Colleen M. Nelson, Wall Street Journal

Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post

April Ryan, American Urban Radio

And for that last question — Obama ignored one shouted by a male reporter, and called on Ryan instead.

The move didn't go unnoticed on Twitter.

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CNN's Jim Acosta contributed to this story.

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