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NEWS ARCHIVE

2013 DINNER

The next WHCA℠ dinner is scheduled for April 27, 2013.

Late night star Conan O'Brien to headline 2013 White House Correspondents' Dinner  

WASHINGTON -- Team Coco is coming back to Washington.  

Conan O'Brien, the Emmy award-winning comedian and late night talk show host, will headline the annual White House Correspondents' Association’s annual dinner on April 27, 2013, it was revealed Wednesday by association president Ed Henry.  

"Conan is one of television's most innovative and influential talents and I am absolutely thrilled that he has agreed to be this year's featured act," said Henry. "As social media has changed all aspects of the media business, Conan has embraced this shifting landscape to become a creative force both online as well as in the traditional television model. We are grateful that Conan will be also be using that creativity to bring more attention to the WHCA's commitment to helping needy journalism students." 

Proceeds from the dinner, which is well known for being the hottest ticket in Washington year in and year out, help fund over $100,000 in scholarships. First Lady Michelle Obama, who attends the dinner with President Obama, has once again agreed this year to help hand out the scholarships to the high school students attending the dinner.  

The President traditionally delivers his own set of jokes, poking fun at himself as well as his political opponents, before the comedian gets the podium. It's all in good fun and for a good cause.  

The dinner is affectionately known as the "nerd prom" because it is a hit on  C-SPAN. It draws a wide cross section of movers and shakers from the worlds of journalism, politics, as well as Hollywood all coming together for one night to help shine the spotlight on the next generation of journalists.  

The event is also known for featuring some of the hottest names in comedy over the years, including when a boyish, 32-year-old O''Brien turned in a brilliant performance at the 1995 dinner. That was when O'Brien was starting his 16 year run as the host of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" on NBC.  

O'Brien is now having a very successful run as host of "Conan" on TBS, yet another milestone in a career that started humbly when he served as a writer for shows like "The Simpsons" and "Saturday Night Live."

conan

APRIL 9, 2012

White House Correspondents' Association℠ announces ABC'S Jake Tapper, The Washington Post's Scott Wilson and teams at Politico and the Associated Press are winners of its 2012 journalism awards

The White House Correspondents' Association℠ is pleased to announce the winners of its 2012 journalism awards. Ten journalists have been chosen as the winners of three prestigious awards, along with two honorable mentions. Two of the winning submissions underscore the importance of teamwork in achieving journalistic excellence. The WHCA℠ looks forward to honoring the talented recipients at our annual scholarship dinner at the Washington Hilton on April 28, 2012.

ABC's Jake Tapper and Politico's Glenn Thrush, Carrie Budoff Brown, Manu Raju and John Bresnahan were selected as winners of the Merriman Smith award for excellence in presidential coverage under pressure in the print and broadcast categories. Each award carries a $2,500 prize.

Tapper, the broadcast winner, broke the news that rating agency Standard & Poor's was on the verge of downgrading America's triple-A credit rating because of concerns over political gridlock in Washington.

In the print category, Thrush, Budoff Brown, Raju and Bresnahan of Politico won for their report on the deal between President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. The judges called the report "a comprehensive, inside look at how the deal was made – and almost fell apart."

Scott Wilson of The Washington Post won the Aldo Beckman award, which recognizes a correspondent who personifies the journalistic excellence and personal qualities of Aldo Beckman, a former president of the White House Correspondents' Association℠ and a correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune and the Association, which established the award in 1981, will give a prize of $1,000.

The judges wrote, "Out of a strong crop of contestants, the judges chose Scott Wilson of The Washington Post for his deeply reported and nuanced stories, his evocative writing and his clear presentation of complex issues, particularly on the foreign policy front.

As Wilson's editor, Kevin Merida, wrote in the nomination, "covering the presidency is more than reporting on the words and activities of Obama and his administration. It is raising questions and trying to answer them.''

An honorable mention is being awarded to Politico's Glenn Thrush for the quality and breadth of his reporting and the clarity of his writing.

The Edgar A. Poe Award, which honors excellence in coverage of events of significant national or regional importance, will be awarded to Associated Press writers Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley. The AP reporters teamed up to paint a detailed picture of the New York City Police Department's practice of investigating Muslims and other ethnic groups under the guidance of the Central Intelligence Agency. As the story lays out, in many cases, the investigations took place without any evidence of crimes. As the judges wrote: the "richly detailed stories read like a novel, with twists and turns that leave you shaking your head in disbelief."

The $2500 Poe award is funded by the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Newhouse Newspapers in honor of their distinguished correspondent Edgar A. Poe, a former WHCA℠ president.

An honorable mention goes to Damian Paletta of the Wall Street Journal for his series of stories on the divisive debate about Social Security Disability Insurance. Paletta brought the debate vividly to life in a series of stories underpinned by deep analysis of the data.

The WHCA℠ congratulates the winners and we thank everyone who submitted applications for the awards.

For more information contact, Julia Whiston, Executive Director WHCA℠ at 202-266 -7453 or April Ryan, Awards Committee Chair, at 202 285 3557, aprilryan1600@gmail.com

JANUARY 9, 2012

CALL FOR ENTRIES -- The White House Correspondents' Association℠ is presenting three major journalism awards at the annual dinner on Saturday, April 28, 2012, to recognize distinguished reporting. The awards are among the most prestigious in our field. Prizes range from $1,000 to $2,500. Members of the WHCA℠ are encouraged to review your 2011 reporting and consider entering the competition. The three contests are open to print and broadcast journalists. The submission deadline is March 2, 2012, at 5:00 p.m. READ MORE

NOVEMBER 1, 2011

Late-night comic Jimmy Kimmel to headline 2012 White House Correspondents' Association℠ Dinner

WASHINGTON - The White House Correspondents’ Association℠ is pleased to announce that Jimmy Kimmel, host of the ABC late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” will headline the WHCA's 98th annual dinner on Saturday, April 28, 2012.

"Jimmy's humor is sophisticated and edgy while appealing to a wide audience," said Caren Bohan, a Reuters journalist and president of the White House Correspondents' Association℠.  "We are thrilled that Jimmy has accepted our invitation to be the featured comedian at our annual dinner."

The WHCA℠ dinner is traditionally attended by the President and First Lady as well as many other senior government officials and members of the press corps. Proceeds from the dinner go toward scholarships and awards aimed at supporting aspiring journalists and recognizing excellence in the profession.

April 30, 2011

C-SPAN's Live coverage begins at 6:45 pm. Watch the WHCA℠ dinner on tv or online

April 21 , 2011

White House Correspondents' Association℠ ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF THE 2011 AWARDS

Four reporters have been named winners of three of journalism's most prestigious awards, and will be honored at the White House Correspondents' Association℠ dinner on April 30 at the Washington Hilton. At the annual dinner, the association also gives out more than $100,000 in scholarships for journalism students.

Dan Balz of The Washington Post and Jake Tapper of ABC News have won the Merriman Smith Award for excellence in presidential coverage under deadline pressure in the print and broadcast categories, respectively. The award carries a $2,500 prize.

Tapper won in the broadcast category for the second year in a row, and is being honored this year for his story that revealed that Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair was about to be asked by President Obama to step down.

Peter Baker of The New York Times has won the Aldo Beckman award, which recognizes a correspondent who personifies the journalistic excellence and personal qualities of Aldo Beckman, a former president of the White House Correspondents' Association℠ and correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. The Tribune and the association, which established the award in 1981, will give a prize of $1,000.

Michael Berens of The Seattle Times won the Edgar A. Poe Award that recognizes excellence in coverage of news of national or regional significance, with a single award for either a print or broadcast journalist. A prize of $2,500 comes with the award, which was established by the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Newhouse Newspapers in honor of their distinguished correspondent Edgar A. Poe.

Honorable mention was also awarded to Greg Jaffe of The Washington Post. The judges praised Jaffe's "nuanced portrait of the impact of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on the people fighting them. A memorable montage."
       

READ MORE ON OUR 2011 AWARDS PAGE

APRIL 20, 2011
WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES RECIPIENTS OF 2011 SCHOLARSHIPS
                                      
$103,000 to be awarded as part of White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Weekend

Students to be honored at Annual Scholarship Luncheon
Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest to moderate a panel discussion with leading Washington journalists on the press & the Presidency

WHCA℠ Announces New Partnership with Prime Movers Program

The White House Correspondents’ Association is distributing nearly $100,000 to eighteen (18) journalism students from five prestigious universities, and will honor the recipients at its annual scholarship luncheon on Friday, April 29th.

Since 1991, the WHCA℠ has awarded more than $465,000 in scholarship money to more than 60 graduating high school seniors and college-level students.  The success of this dinner allows members of the White House press corps to give back to the next generation of reporters.

READ MORE ON OUR SCHOLARSHIPS PAGE

JANUARY 10, 2011

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2011 AWARDS

The White House Correspondents’ Association is presenting three major journalism awards at the
annual dinner on April 30, 2011, to recognize distinguished reporting. The awards are among the
most prestigious in our field. Prizes range from $1,000 to $2,500.

You are encouraged to review your 2010 reporting and consider ENTERING THE COMPETITION. The
three contests are open to print and broadcast journalists.

The WHCA℠ board has enlisted the Medill School of Journalism and Ellen Shearer, co-director of
the Medill News Service here in Washington, D.C., to help coordinate the judging of the three
contests.

The Merriman Smith Award ($2,500) recognizes presidential news coverage under deadline
pressure, with separate awards for print and broadcast journalists. Broadcast tapes (CD/DVD only)
also may be submitted with scripts.

The Aldo Beckman ($1,000) recognizes repeated excellence in White House coverage, with a
single award for either a print or broadcast journalist. Entries may be in the form of clippings,
original material, wire copy printouts, photocopies or broadcast scripts. Online entries must be
original Web content. Broadcast tapes (CD/DVD only) also may be submitted with scripts.
The Edgar A. Poe 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. Entries may be
in the form of clippings, original material, wire copy printouts, photocopies or online entries.
Broadcast tapes (CD/DVD) also may be submitted. Online entries must be original Web content.
Details of the three contests are included in the attached material. The deadline for entries is
March 3, 2011.

If you have any questions, please contact: Ellen Shearer of Medill News Service, Chair of the
WHCA℠ Awards Committee, at 202-661-0102 or E-mail: shearer@northwestern.edu or Julia
Whiston of the WHCA℠ at 202-266-7453 or E-mail: whca@starpower.net.

DECEMBER 8 , 2010

"SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE'S" SETH MEYERS TO HEADLINE ANNUAL White House Correspondents' Association℠ DINNER

NEW YORK, NY -- December 8, 2010 - Seth Meyers, head writer and anchor of "Weekend Update" on NBC's Emmy  Award-winning program "Saturday Night Live," will be the featured speaker at this year's annual White House Correspondents' Association℠ Dinner, which will be held Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the Washington DC Hilton.

Meyers, who hosted the 2010 ESPY Awards on ESPN this past July, is currently in his tenth season on "Saturday Night Live," his fifth season as head writer, and his fifth season as anchor of "Weekend Update."

A graduate of Northwestern University, he studied and performed at ImprovOlympic before moving on to the Boom Chicago Theater in Amsterdam, Holland.

"We're very excited. Seth is a very smart, very sharp, and very funny observer of the political scene, and we're looking forward to seeing him on April 30," said David Jackson of USA TODAY and president of the WHCA.

JANUARY 10, 2011

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2011 AWARDS

The White House Correspondents’ Association is presenting three major journalism awards at the
annual dinner on April 30, 2011, to recognize distinguished reporting. The awards are among the
most prestigious in our field. Prizes range from $1,000 to $2,500.

You are encouraged to review your 2010 reporting and consider ENTERING THE COMPETITION. The
three contests are open to print and broadcast journalists.

The WHCA℠ board has enlisted the Medill School of Journalism and Ellen Shearer, co-director of
the Medill News Service here in Washington, D.C., to help coordinate the judging of the three
contests.

The Merriman Smith Award ($2,500) recognizes presidential news coverage under deadline
pressure, with separate awards for print and broadcast journalists. Broadcast tapes (CD/DVD only)
also may be submitted with scripts.

The Aldo Beckman ($1,000) recognizes repeated excellence in White House coverage, with a
single award for either a print or broadcast journalist. Entries may be in the form of clippings,
original material, wire copy printouts, photocopies or broadcast scripts. Online entries must be
original Web content. Broadcast tapes (CD/DVD only) also may be submitted with scripts.
The Edgar A. Poe 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. Entries may be
in the form of clippings, original material, wire copy printouts, photocopies or online entries.
Broadcast tapes (CD/DVD) also may be submitted. Online entries must be original Web content.
Details of the three contests are included in the attached material. The deadline for entries is
March 3, 2011.

If you have any questions, please contact: Ellen Shearer of Medill News Service, Chair of the
WHCA℠ Awards Committee, at 202-661-0102 or E-mail: shearer@northwestern.edu or Julia
Whiston of the WHCA℠ at 202-266-7453 or E-mail: whca@starpower.net.

DECEMBER 8 , 2010

"SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE'S" SETH MEYERS TO HEADLINE ANNUAL White House Correspondents' Association℠ DINNER

NEW YORK, NY -- December 8, 2010 - Seth Meyers, head writer and anchor of "Weekend Update" on NBC's Emmy  Award-winning program "Saturday Night Live," will be the featured speaker at this year's annual White House Correspondents' Association℠ Dinner, which will be held Saturday, April 30, 2011 at the Washington DC Hilton.

Meyers, who hosted the 2010 ESPY Awards on ESPN this past July, is currently in his tenth season on "Saturday Night Live," his fifth season as head writer, and his fifth season as anchor of "Weekend Update."

A graduate of Northwestern University, he studied and performed at ImprovOlympic before moving on to the Boom Chicago Theater in Amsterdam, Holland.

"We're very excited. Seth is a very smart, very sharp, and very funny observer of the political scene, and we're looking forward to seeing him on April 30," said David Jackson of USA TODAY and president of the WHCA.

 

August 1, 2010

The board of the White House Correspondents Association has agreed, by consensus, to move the Associated Press to the front row, center seat in the James S. Brady Briefing Room.

The board further agreed to move Fox News to the front row seat previously occupied by AP, and relocate NPR into the second row seat previously held by Fox, next to Bloomberg News.

It was a very difficult decision. The board received requests from Bloomberg and NPR in addition to Fox for relocation to the front row and felt all three made compelling cases. But the board ultimately was persuaded by Fox's length of service and commitment to the White House television pool.

The board also made a series of adjustments to the larger seating chart, including the addition of a new seat for the foreign press pool.

These deliberations mark the third time in four years the board has tackled this issue, and we urge members to view seating room changes as an ongoing process that will be revisited again as our industry evolves.

The changes are effective Monday, August 2. In addition, the board member from NPR abstained from debate of seating assignments for the first two rows.

Statement Issued By the Board of the White House Correspondents' Association℠

June 7, 2010

Helen Thomas' comments were indefensible and the White House Correspondents' Association℠ board firmly dissociates itself from them. Many in our profession who have known Helen for years were saddened by the comments, which were especially unfortunate in light of her role as a trail blazer on the White House beat.

While Helen has not been a member of the WHCA℠ for many years, her special status in the briefing room has helped solidify her as the dean of the White House press corps so we feel the need to speak out strongly on this matter.

We want to emphasize that the role of the WHCA℠ is to represent the White House press corps in its dealings with the White House on coverage-related issues. We do not police the speech of our members or colleagues. We are not involved at all in issuing White House credentials; that is the purview of the White House itself.

But the incident does revive the issue of whether it is appropriate  for an opinion columnist to have a front row seat in the WH briefing room. That is an issue under the jurisdiction of this board. We are actively seeking input from our association members on this important matter, and we have scheduled a special meeting of the WHCA℠ board on Thursday to decide on the seating issue.

Ed Chen, Bloomberg

David Jackson, USA Today

Caren Bohan, Reuters

Ed Henry, CNN

Julie Mason, DC Examiner

Don Gonyea, National Public Radio

Steve Scully, C-SPAN

Doug Mills, The New York Times

 

PRESS RELEASE

Washington ( APRIL 19, 2010 )

The White House Correspondents' Association℠ is distributing a record $132,500 to eighteen (18) journalism student from five prestigious universities, and will honor the recipients at its annual scholarship luncheon on Friday, April 30th .

Since 1991, the WHCA℠ has awarded nearly $360,000 in scholarship money to 42 graduating high school seniors and college-level students.   The success of this dinner allows members of the White House press corps to give back to the next generation of reporters.This year, the students will be recognized at a noon-time luncheon at the Atlantic Media offices, 600 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., to be followed by a panel titled: "Press & the Presidency: A Front Row Seat to History."Former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry will moderate the discussion with five veterans of the White House press corps:

  • Christina Bellantoni, Talking Points Memo

  • Ron Brownstein, National Journal/ Atlantic Media

  • Major Garrett, Fox News Channel

  • Savannah Guthrie, NBC News

  • Jennifer Loven, Associated Press

"This on-the-record forum will give these students a first-hand perspective on covering the presidency," said Edwin Chen of Bloomberg News & President of WHCA.   "The session will also allow these new journalists to discuss how the press corps does its job in an era with new challenges of access, and at a time when our business is undergoing profound changes." The scholarships are targeted in different ways. Columbia University's grant allows a student from the Middle East to study here and return home to share the best standards of American journalism in that crucial region. At Northwestern, our scholars must demonstrate interest in reporting on government affairs. And at Missouri, the WHCA℠ scholarship program enables up to 10 students to attend its semester-long program in Washington.

For a full list of this year's recipients, visit the SCHOLARSHIPS page

 

Five Journalists Win Top Journalism Awards, Press Group Announces
Contact: Julia Whiston, 202-266-7453

Washington (April 13, 2010) -- Five reporters have been named winners of three of journalism's most prestigious awards, and they will be honored at the White House Correspondents' Association℠ dinner on May 1.

Ben Feller of the Associated Press and Jake Tapper of ABC News will receive the Merriman Smith Award for presidential coverage under deadline pressure in the print and broadcast categories, respectively.

Mark Knoller of CBS News will receive the Aldo Beckman award for sustained excellence in White House coverage.

Suzanne Bohan and Sandy Kleffman of the Contra Costa, California, Times will receive the Edgar A. Poe Award for excellence in coverage of news of national or regional significance.

The awards will be presented during the annual fundraising dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association℠ at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

Feller was cited by the Smith award judges for his coverage of President Obama's surprise, late-night visit to Dover Air Force Base. They said Feller had "little advance notice of President Barack Obama's trip to Dover Air Force Base on Oct. 28. 2009, but filed a series of middle-of-the-night compelling updates capped by a final story whose style had echoes of Edward R. Murrow in its taut, gripping writing. His story put readers at the scene while giving them context and background."

Tapper won for his story that revealed former Senator Tom Daschle's tax problems that derailed his nomination to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. The judges said Tapper's reporting was a "perfect lesson on getting news no one else has on a beat in which it is hard to do so, getting it out fast and accurately with background and context and using the Web to augment the on-air reporting."

Each Smith award carries a cash prize of $2,500.

Knoller was cited for his body of work covering the White House for more than 35 years. The judges hailed his "insightful reporting on multiple platforms" including radio, television, blogs and now Twitter. "His meticulous record-keeping as an unofficial archivist of the presidency serves the public and keeps the White House accountable," the judges said. "Mark Knoller lives and breathes reporting. The public is well-served by his tireless efforts.

The Beckman award carries a $1,000 prize.

Bohan and Kleffman won the Poe Award for their four-part entitled, "Shortened Lives: Where You Live Matters."

"In the midst of the national health care debate, these exceptionally well-reported stories offer unique and valuable lessons for public health policy," said the Poe award judges said.

"Through extensive use of county health records, Bohan and Kleffman stand conventional wisdom on its head, providing powerful evidence that variations in disease rates and life expectancies between neighborhoods in Alameda County, Calif., are not--as widely assumed--the result of poor people making bad choices about diet and exercise. Rather the discrepancies stem from multiple forces that deny those living in poor communities access to the basic resources necessary to engage in a healthy lifestyle, however great their desire to do so. These powerful and poignant stories provide an important new lens that snaps the health care debate into sharp focus. While looking closely at these issues at the county level, the stories in this series have profound national and regional implications, providing strong evidence that blaming the victims is not a substitute for dealing seriously with the underlying causes of the health care crisis."

The Poe award carries a $2,500 prize.

###


PRESS RELEASE

Leno to Headline White House Press and Scholarship Dinner

Contact: Julie Whiston
Executive Director
WHCA
202-266-7453

(Jan. 22, 2010) -- Seventeen Washington, D.C. students will receive $132,000 in college scholarships from the White House Correspondents' Association℠ to pursue careers in journalism.

The winners will be introduced at the association's May 1 fundraising dinner, where entertainer Jay Leno will be a featured speaker.

And for the first time in its 96-year history, the association is taking action to reduce the carbon impact of its annual black-tie gala; these actions include using as much as possible renewable energy for the event, paper products, supplies and services that reduce the threat of global warming, deforestation, toxic wastes, hazardous chemicals and species extinction.

``This will be the most eco-friendly dinner ever hosted by the association,'' said Edwin Chen, the group's president and a Bloomberg News White House correspondent.

``And we encourage our members and guests to join in that effort, such as by car-pooling, using hybrid vehicles and, for long-distance travelers to Washington, buying carbon-offsets,'' Chen said.

The association also will announced at the dinner, to be held at the Washington Hilton Hotel, this year's winners of the Edgar A. Poe, the Merriman Smith and the Aldo Beckman awards, three of journalism's most prestigious prizes.

###

 

 

 

Photo/Doug Mills, New York Times

NEWS BLOGS AND LINKS

Several White House Correspondents' Association℠ members regularly blog about presidential coverage, delivering some of the most colorful White House stories anywhere. Here are links to a few of the most popular White House press corps blogs.

Mike Allen, Politico Playbook
http://dyn.politico.com/playbook/

Mike Allen, Politico Playbook


Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune
http://blogs.trb.com/news/politics/blog/

Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune, The Swamp

WHCA℠ OFFICERS 2013-2014

President: Steven Thomma, McClatchy Newspapers

Vice President: Christi Parsons, Tribune Company

Secretary: April Ryan, American Urban Radio Network

Treasurer:
Doug Mills, New York Times

WHCA℠ Board Members 2013-2014

Carol Lee, Wall Street Journal, at large (7/15/16)

Ari Shapiro, NPR, radio (
7/15/15)

Margaret Talev, Bloomberg News, wire

Major Garrett, CBS News, television        

Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News, periodicals

Executive Director

Julia Whiston

 


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