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Charles Gibson and Martha Raddatz

2008 WHCA JOURNALISM AWARDS

The Merriman Smith MEMORIAL Award

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award ($2,500 each) recognizes presidential news coverage under deadline pressure, with separate awards for print and broadcast journalists. LEARN MORE

Winner-print: Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press.

Deb Riechmann, who also received a Merriman Smith award in 2006, won for her reporting on President Bush's surprise visit to Baghdad in September 2007. The judges praised her "solid reporting...under the gun to make the very tight deadlines'' and her judgment in recognizing the import of the president's remarks about doing the job with fewer troops. Read the winning entry

President Bush and Deb Riechmann

Winner--broadcast: Ed Henry of CNN

In the broadcast category, Ed Henry of CNN won for reporting which the judges wrote "got better with each ensuing update throughout the day'' on the Bush administration's contradicting assertions that top Iran officials were behind the authorization to send improvised explosive devices to Iraq. Read the BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT

President Bush and Ed Henry

THE ALDO BECKMAN AWARD

The Aldo Beckman Award ($1,000) recognizes sustained excellence in White House coverage, with a single award for either a print or broadcast journalist. LEARN MORE

Winner: Alexis Simendinger of the National Journal

Simendinger broke the story about the use of Republican National Committee e-mails by some White House officials. "Whose E-Mail Is It?'' was the first in a series of five articles that "repeatedly demonstrated excellence'' in Simendinger's coverage of the White House. Read the winning entrIES

President Bush and Alexis Simendinger

Honorable Mention: Peter Baker, The Washington Post

The judges noted Baker's carefully sourced and nuanced series of articles offering insights into an imperiled presidency.

The Edgar A. Poe MEMORIAL Award

The Edgar A. Poe Memorial Award ($2,500) recognizes excellence in coverage of news of national or regional significance, with a single award for either a print or broadcast journalist. LEARN MORE

Winners: Paul Shukovsky, Tracy Johnson, and Daniel Lathrop of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

In a series of articles, "The Terrorism Trade-Off," Shukovsky, Johnson and Lathrop revealed a major shift by the FBI away from white-collar crimes as it ramped up its pursuit of suspected terrorists.They found that 2,400 FBI agents had been shifted to counterterrorism work, resulting in a 68 percent decline in white-collar criminal investigations and a 71 percent drop in civil rights cases. Read the winning entrIES

President Bush and Paul Shukovsky
President Bush and Tracy Johnson
President Bush and Daniel Lathrop

HONORABLE MENTION

John R. Wilke of the Wall Street Journal earned an honorable mention for several stories on Congress' penchant for earmarked federal spending.

James Kitfield of the National Journal received an honorable mention for his series of articles on developments in the Iraq War.

PAST WINNERS image PRESS RELEASES
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GUIDELINES image CALL FOR ENTRIES
Merriman Smith Award
Aldo Beckman Award
Edgar A. Poe Award

ENTRY FORMS
Merriman Smith Award
Aldo Beckman Award
Edgar A. Poe Award

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SLIDESHOW OF THE 2008 DINNER

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VIDEO COVERAGE OF THE 2008 DINNER
You can also watch a video account of the dinner on C-SPAN, which is hosting an archive of WHCA events dating back to the early '90s. Coverage includes awards and scholarship presentations, historical footage, entertainment, and some great "people watching." Check local listings for broadcast schedule.

Ellen Shearer, Medill School of Journalism, Washington, D.C.

Rich Foster, The Freedom Forum/Newseum

Tom Rosenstiel, Director, Project for Excellence in Journalism

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Lee Thornton, PhD, University of Maryland

Deborah Potter, Exective Director, NewsLab

John Mashek, Retired, The Boston Globe

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Tom Diemer, Medill School of Journalism, Washington, D.C.

Bill Buzenberg, Executive Director, The Center for Public Integrity

Phillip Dixon, Professor, Howard University

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