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NEWS ARCHIVE

APRIL 28, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (DOWNLOAD PDF)

HISTORY GOES TO WASHINGTON

Network Partners With White House Correspondents' Association To Produce Video Celebrating Its 100th Anniversary; Participants include President Obama and President Clinton

New York, April 28, 2014 – HISTORY will unite with the White House Correspondents' Association to produce a special video commemorating the centennial celebration of the organization that represents the White House Press Corps. A screening of the video, created and produced by HISTORY, will be among the highlights of the evening during the WHCA's annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner, to be held on Saturday, May 3, 7:30 pm.

{ You can watch the video on our HISTORY page }

The video chronicles the origin of the WHCA in 1914 and its evolution during the last 100 years. It will examine how today's journalists on this historic assignment share the spirit of the WHCA's earliest members, still tirelessly pushing for access to the President and members of the administration amid the challenges of a modern media landscape. The annual dinner, which dates back to 1921 and now itself merits extensive news coverage, is traditionally attended by the President and First Lady, as well as many other senior government officials and members of the press corps. Joel McHale, star of the NBC series Community, will be the entertainer headlining this year's event.

"I'm thrilled that A+E Networks and the History Channel have partnered with the WHCA to generously create and produce a very special video to mark our centennial celebration," WHCA President Steven Thomma said. "Our annual dinner always includes a lot of laughs and often features entertaining videos. But as we looked ahead to our 100th year, I wanted something different and couldn't think of a better partner than the History Channel to bring this vision to life. With our experience at the White House and their deep experience and creativity working with historical content, we've worked together to tell the story of the Association, including its regrettable chapters and its proud principles. The video will be a very special part of the dinner."

Interviews with President Obama, President Clinton, key historians, press secretaries such as Marlin Fitzwater, Mike McCurry, Dana Perino and the dinner's past and current celebrity hosts will demonstrate how the Association has expanded its activities since its inception. At the core of the WHCA, meanwhile, is the same commitment to maintaining independent news coverage of the President and to nurturing the next generation of journalistic excellence through its scholarship program.

"It's an honor for HISTORY to be able to work with the White House Correspondents' Association on this most significant project," said Nancy Dubuc, President and CEO, A+E Networks. "We often point out that history is in our DNA. But being entrusted to tell the official story of this celebrated organization, which itself has documented the country's great political stories of the past century, reaffirms that we've been doing our job well and that others have taken notice. We couldn't be more excited about forming this special partnership."

About White House Correspondents' Association?
The White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the administration on coverage-related issues. A nine-member board of directors, elected by correspondents, addresses access to the chief executive; coverage arrangements; work space arrangements; logistics and costs for press travel to accompany a president on the road. The association also holds an annual dinner to raise money for WHCA Scholarships and honor the professional recipients of the WHCA's Journalism Awards. For more information, please visit http://www.whca.net

About A+E Networks
A+E Networks(R) is an award-winning, global media content company offering consumers a diverse communications environment ranging from television networks to websites, to home videos/DVDs to gaming and educational software. A+E Networks is comprised of the A&E(R), Lifetime(R), HISTORY(R), LMN(R), Bio(R), H2™, HISTORY en Español™, Crime & Investigation Network(R), Military HISTORY(R), A&E IndieFilms(R), A+E Networks International(R), A+E Networks Digital(R) and A+E Networks Consumer Products™. A+E Networks channels and branded programming reach more than 350 million households in over 160 countries. A+E Networks is a joint venture of Disney-ABC Television Group and Hearst Corporation.
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Press Contact:
Vicky Kahn, A+E Networks, 212-210-9743   vicky.kahn@aenetworks.com

2014 White House Correspondents' Association℠ Journalism Awards

APRIL 7, 2014 The White House Correspondents' Association today announces the winners of its journalism awards. The awards will be presented at the annual dinner of the association on Saturday, May 3.

The judges chose two winners this year for Aldo Beckman Memorial Award, which recognizes repeated excellence in White House coverage. They are Glenn Thrush of Politico and Brianna Keilar of CNN.

The judges of the Merriman Smith Memorial Award, which recognizes deadline work in both print and broadcast, honored Peter Baker of the New York Times and Peter Maer of CBS.

And the judges of the Edgar A. Poe Award, which recognizes coverage of news of national or regional significance, chose two winners. They are Megan Twohey and a team at Reuters, and a joint work by The Center for Public Integrity in partnership with ABC News. An Honorable mention goes to The Seattle Times and reporter Craig Welch and photographer Steve Ringman.


THE ALDO BECKMAN MEMORIAL AWARD

The award this year is given equally to two entries, Glenn Thrush of Politico and Brianna Keilar of CNN.

From the judges:

Glenn Thrush's "Locked in the Cabinet" is an incisive piece of journalism that prompts some remarkable and candid admissions from Obama confidantes and takes us deep inside the process to better understand how Obama governs and manages. It is brilliantly written and utterly compelling. Thrush's description of the administration's "lurching, improvisational character" sheds light on both the process and the problems this administration has confronted. It even gives us a history lesson of the origins of the political term "cabinet." This is a powerful and well-constructed piece of narrative journalism that provides information interpretation and perspective.

Brianna Keilar's excellent, detailed and utterly approachable reporting sheds light on many of the specifics that have led to the political debacle of the affordable care act. Several stories revolve around information or documents obtained exclusively by CNN. The material is presented with compelling clarity, vivid production values and rock-solid documentation. These stories provide a vital narrative and understanding as they unfold over time. In every way––reporting, writing, presentation and production––these stories contribute context and understanding and demonstrate both breaking news and enterprise excellence.

THE MERRIMAN SMITH MEMORIAL AWARD
The award is given in a print and broadcast category

From the judges:

Print: Peter Baker, The New York Times
"Obama Seeks Approval by Congress for Strike in Syria"
Aug. 31, 2013
Peter Baker's breaking coverage of the White House's sudden shift on what was expected to be a day of military strikes against Syria was, in the words of one judge, "well-reported, insightful, informative, thorough and all done under deadline pressure." As the story continued to shift under his feet, Baker drew on his wealth of sources to deliver comprehensive coverage that managed to deliver historical context along with up-to-the-minute developments and political reaction to the news. The depth of that reporting resulted in a story that took readers from White House inner circles to Capitol Hill and beyond, and gave them historical context as well as a look at what might happen next. It is an outstanding piece of deadline work.

Broadcast: Peter Maer, CBS News
"Sequestration"
Feb. 26, 2013
Peter Maer's story on the potential impact of budget sequestration did what White House reporters too rarely do: It humanized a national political story, and managed to do so on an extremely tight deadline, no less. Maer's initiative took what could have been tossed off as just another speech story and instead put a complex issue in context, through his use of distinctive new voices and his own background knowledge of the story. He gives listeners a piece that is concise without shortchanging any of the issues or emotions. Richly detailed, good storytelling all around on an important breaking news story.

EDGAR A. POE AWARD
The award is given equally to two entries: Megan Twohey of Reuters and The Center for Public Integrity in partnership with ABC News.

From the judges:

"The Child Exchange: Inside America's Underground Market for Adopted Children," by Megan Twohey
This chilling and thoroughly reported project raised awareness of a significant problem that most Americans had never heard of before: adoptions gone awry, and the fallout from what happens to the children afterward. The team broke new ground, creating databases and mining social media bulletin boards to show how adopted children--often from overseas--can be handed off to strangers with little if any government oversight or regulation, often with tragic consequences. For unveiling the dark side of the informal and damaging practice known as "private re-homing," Megan Twohey and the team at Reuters share the Poe award.

"Breathless and Burdened: Dying from black lung, buried by law and medicine," The Center for Public Integrity, in partnership with ABC News.
This team showed how a true collaboration between media partners can break significant new ground on an already well-reported story, in this case the destructiveness of coal mining and the "black lung" that miners have suffered from for many decades. In their yearlong investigation, CPI's Chris Hamby and ABC's Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross examined how big-name doctors and lawyers, working at the behest of the coal industry, have helped defeat the benefits claims of miners sick and dying of black lung. And they showed how this was occurring even as disease rates are on the rise and an increasing number of miners are turning to a system that was supposed to help them.

Honorable Mention:
The Seattle Times and reporter Craig Welch and photographer Steve Ringman.
This pair spent months, traveling from Alaska in the North Pacific to Papua New Guinea in the South Pacific to detail what is at stake as ocean chemistry changes. They examined hundreds of peer-reviewed studies, interviewed 150 people around the world and even learned to deep-sea dive to document how the world's oceans are essentially being poisoned, and the risks that poses to marine sea life and the entire global eco-system.


Judges for the Aldo Beckman:
Ellen Shearer, Medill News Service in DC
Frank Sesno, School of Media and Public Affairs, The George Washington University
Indira Somani, Assistant Professor, Howard University

Judges for the Merriman Smith:
Steve Crane, Cronkite News Service, Arizona State University in DC
Amos Gelb, Medill News Service, Northwestern in DC
Barbara Cochran, University of Missouri in DC

Judges for the Edgar A. Poe:
Tom Diemer, Medill News Service, Washington, DC
A'Lelia Bundles, Foundation for the National Archives, DC
Josh Meyer, Medill News Service, Northwestern, DC
Amy Eisman, American University, DC

MARCH 25, 2014 - WHCA STATEMENT
It is outrageous that the Saudi government has refused to allow a White House reporter entry to the country to cover this week's visit of President Barack Obama.

Michael Wilner, who covers the White House for the Jerusalem Post, had signed up to cover the visit and sought a visa along with the rest of the White House Press corps.

On Monday, he was the only one denied a visa. He had planned to travel straight to Saudi Arabia to cover that part of the president's trip.

The denial is an affront not only to this journalist, but to the entire White House press corps and to the principle of freedom of the press that we hold so dear.

The White House also protested the denial.

"We are deeply disappointed that this credible journalist was denied a visa," said Bernadette Meehan, a spokesperson for the National Security Council. "We will continue to register our serious concerns about this unfortunate decision."
The Post reported that the Saudi government refused entry to Wilner, "despite firmly-worded requests from US National Security Advisor Susan Rice and assistant to the president Tony Blinken to Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir….

"Rice and Blinken separately expressed extreme displeasure at the delay and the prospect of a denial, The Jerusalem Posthas learned. Members of the National Security Council were made aware of the matter after US officials coordinating the trip failed to reach their Saudi counterparts."

Wilner is an associate member of the White House Correspondents' Association, which represents the White House press corps.

-- Steve Thomma and the board of the WHCA

[ READ MORE }

MARCH, 2014 - WHCA CENTENNIAL - THE EARLY YEARS

wilson

In 1913 , President Wilson threatened to do away with presidential news conferences after complaining that "certain evening newspapers" quoted remarks he considered off the record.

A band of White House correspondents got together, agreed on a code of professional conduct and convinced the president to relent – for the time being, anyway.

Six months later, in January 1914, there was another flap over coverage of a Wilson press conference. This time, the regulars in the press corps responded by forming a group they called the White House Correspondents' Association. The original mission was to keep Wilson from ending his press conferences. In the 100 years since that founding in February of 1914, the group has expanded its mission to pushing for broader access to the White House and supporting vigorous reporting on the presidency. READ MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE WHCA

february 25, 2014 -WHCA CENTENNIAL PROGRAM AT DECATUR HOUSE
WHCA-WHHA centennial program
This program was recorded by C-SPAN. We will post a reminder when the broadcast date is announced.

VIEW SLIDESHOW of the Decatur House reception, program, and panel discussion. Images will open in a new window or tab,depending on your browser's settings. Photos by Matthew Paul D'Agostino/WHHA.

slideshow

2014 WHCA DINNER NEWS

WASHINGTON - The White House Correspondents' Association is pleased to announce that Joel McHale, star of the
NBC series Community, will be the entertainer at the association's Centennial dinner on Saturday, May 3, 2014.
"We're thrilled that Joel will headline the dinner when we celebrate our centennial," said WHCA President Steven Thomma. " He's sharp, funny, and just the type of comic who can navigate the unique challenge of our dinner, making fun of Democrats, Republicans and especially the news media.  Washington can use a little good-natured ribbing."

McHale is a star of the NBC series Community, now in its 5th season. He also satirizes pop culture and current events as the host of E!'s The Soup. He's appeared in movies as well, and recently finished work on the forthcoming thriller Deliver Us From Evil produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

Founded in 1914 to represent the White House press corps, the association marks its centennial this year. It works to maintain independent news media coverage of the president, advocating for access, handling logistics for pools of reporters who stay close to the president and those who travel with him, and providing scholarships to journalism students.

The annual 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 for aspiring journalists and awards recognizing excellence in the profession. 

mcHale
photo/Frank Ockenfels

THE WHCA IS TURNING 100

This year, the White House Correspondents' Association marks the 100th anniversary of its 1914 founding to advocate for reporters on that historic assignment. The group has grown and expanded its activities, in 1920 launching a spring dinner that now merits news coverage along with a yearly appearance by the sitting president.

The journalists of today's WHCA share the spirit of those early forerunners, pushing for access to the president and members of the administration amid the challenges of a modern media landscape.

As the association marks its anniversary this year, veteran White House reporters, political journalists and scholars will chart the story of that evolving group of professionals in a series of blog posts on this website. The year-long series is being produced in cooperation with the White House Historical Association.

As we begin to celebrate this milestone, we are looking for anecdotes, pictures or memorabilia from past dinners and past Association events. If you have something you'd like to share, please let us know.

Read about the 100 YEAR HISTORY OF THE WHCA

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS' ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2014 AWARDS
January 9, 2014

The White House Correspondents' Association is presenting three major journalism awards at the annual dinner on May 3, 2014 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 2013 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 (DVD) 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 (DVD) 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 (DVD) also may be submitted.  Online entries must be original Web content. 

The deadline for entries is March 5, 2014.

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 or E-mail via this contact form.

We will send members a separate mailing later to provide details about the upcoming dinner.


STATEMENT FROM THE WHCA BOARD
November 21, 2013

The White House Correspondents' Association today joins dozens of news associations and media outlets in protesting White House policies that ban photojournalists from covering the president at certain events while releasing government photos and videos of the same events.

"Journalists are routinely being denied the right to photograph or videotape the President while he is performing his official duties," the WHCA and other news organizations said in a letter Thursday to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

"As surely as if they were placing a hand over a journalist's camera lens, officials in this administration are blocking the public from having an independent view of important functions of the Executive Branch of government."

The letter, also signed by such groups as the American Society of News Editors, the Associated Press Media Editors and the White House News Photographers Association as well as individual media outlets, notes that the White House has argued that certain events with the president are private and should not be opened to the news media.
However, in instance after instance, the White House has proved that claim false by allowing its own photographers and videographers into the same events and then releasing those photos or videos to a nationwide audience.

"You are, in effect, replacing independent photojournalism with visual press releases," the groups said in the letter.
The practice is a troubling break from tradition, and belies the president's vow to be more transparent."The right of journalists to gather the news is most critical when covering government officials acting in their official capacities," the letter said.

"Previous administrations have recognized this, and have granted press access to visually cover precisely these types of events, thus creating government transparency. It is clear that the restrictions imposed by your office on photographers undercuts the President's stated desire to continue and broaden that tradition.  To exclude the press from these functions is a major break from how previous administrations have worked with the press."

The groups asked for a meeting to make the case face to face for a change in policy.

The White House Correspondents' Association represents the White House press corps. It will mark its 100th year next year.

--The board of the WHCA

For more information, contact WHCA President Steven Thomma at 202-383-6042 or sthomma@mcclatchydc.com


In Memoriam: SARA FRITZ

Sara Fritz

An overflow crowd of hundreds packed the Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church in Washington on Tuesday (Nov. 19) to remember and celebrate the life of Sara Fritz, a former WHCA president (1985) who died on Oct. 16, 2013.

The turnout was an astonishing manifestation of the depth and breathe of the admiration, respect and affection Sara commanded well beyond the clubby world of Washington journalism.

Below is a sampling of obituaries about Sara. As well, her family published, and distributed at her memorial service, a 20-day compendium of tributes written by friends, family and colleagues. Electronic copies are available by request.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/journalist-sara-fritz-dies-at-68/2013/10/17/5535463e-3743-11e3-80c6-7e6dd8d22d8f_story.html

http://www.post-gazette.com/obituaries/2013/10/19/Obituary-Sara-Fritz-Pioneering-female-journalist-worked-for-Pittsburgh-Press/stories/201310190211

http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-sara-fritz-20131018,0,5137041.story#axzz2l8CNeJdk

http://youthtoday.org/view_article.cfm?article_id=6295

http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-committee-remembers-sara-fritz

-- Ed Chen, President, WHCA, 2009-2010

2013 AWARDS RECIPIENTS

April 2, 2013

WASHINGTON--Ryan Lizza of the New Yorker is this year's winner of the White House Correspondents Association award for journalistic excellence in covering the presidency.

Julie Pace of the Associated Press and Terry Moran of ABC have won the association's awards for White House news coverage under deadline pressure, and the Center for Public Integrity is recognized for its coverage of issues of national importance.

The annual WHCA prizes honor outstanding performance by White House correspondents and other national journalists each year. The prizes and their cash awards will be given out at the association's annual dinner on Saturday, April 27.

Selected by a panel of judges organized by the Medill School of Journalism, the winning candidates this year demonstrated excellence under deadline pressure and in the kind of in-depth reporting at risk in an era of media cost-cutting.

"One of our central missions continues to be holding government officials accountable," WHCA President Ed Henry said. "I'm thrilled that all of these terrific journalists will be honored at our dinner this month."

In awarding the Aldo Beckman Award to Lizza, the panel of judges noted his "remarkable efforts to provide an independent perspective" on President Obama's presidency and re-election.

"Deep reporting, both through documents and personal interviews, moves these stories beyond the cacophony of a campaign year," the judges said. Besides being an excellent reporter, they said, Lizza is "a thoughtful, cogent writer. He has a keen ability to take his readers inside decisions and weave a compelling narrative, something he has done for more than a decade covering the White House."

The Beckman award is named for the award-winning Chicago Tribune correspondent and former WHCA president. Funded by the Tribune, the award has a cash prize of $1,000.

The Merriman Smith Award for a print journalist goes to Pace, who was recently named to lead the AP White House team. The judges noted her next-day story reporting Obama's reelection, saying that it "provided  a detailed, nuanced explanation of how the Obama campaign had mobilized a sophisticated get-out-the- vote offensive to create a winning strategy that surprised many analysts in its scope."

"Writing from the press bus and buttonholing Obama campaign operatives who were already celebrating, she produced a nicely paced, engaging narrative that provided the first-blush analysis of campaign 2012," they wrote.

Moran is the broadcast winner of the Smith award for his coverage of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act.

Moran "calmly guided viewers through the complexity, contradictions and nuance of the ruling while explaining what it means for the president and his political fortunes," the awards panel wrote of his work.

The Merriman Smith fund was set up in 1970 to honor United Press International's correspondent at the White House for more than 30 years. The winners will each receive a cash prize of $2,500.

The winner of the Edgar A. Poe Award is the depth reporting series "Hard Labor," by CPI reporters Jim Morris, Chris Hamby and Ronnie Greene.

As the judges put it, the series "compellingly shows how the government has failed to keep its promise to protect workers from injury and death on the job."

"Drawing on years of data and on-the-ground reporting in eight states and Canada, the authors demonstrate how corporate corner-cutting, government inability or unwillingness to impose meaningful penalties, and bureaucratic pressure to make caseload quotas have stymied real regulation," the judges wrote. "They tell the workers' stories in a manner that evokes Studs Terkel, excellently weaving human interest with deep-data scrutiny and using numbers sparingly but with powerful effect."

The Poe award was set up to honor coverage of national or regional significance. The prize of $2,500 is funded by the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Newhouse Newspapers in honor of their distinguished correspondent, who also served as a WHCA president.

The selections process was supervised by Ellen Shearer, William F. Thomas Professor of Journalism at Northwestern University's Medill school.

 

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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