WHCA AWARD-WINNING ENTRIES IN 2008
The White House Correspondents' Association presented three major journalism awards at the annual dinner in April to recognize distinguished reporting. The awards are among the most prestigious in our field. The three contests are open to print and broadcast journalists.
To enhance credibility through independent judging, the judging panels for the three awards we administer are put together and run by Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Assistant Dean Ellen Shearer, co-director of the Northwestern University's Medill News Service in Washington, helped coordinate the judging of the following three contests. Here are the award-winning entries in PDF format.
The Merriman Smith Award ($2,500) recognizes presidential news coverage under deadline pressure, with separate awards for print and broadcast journalists.
Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press 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.
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.
2008merrimansmith-tv.pdf (1 mb)
The Aldo Beckman Award ($1,000) recognizes repeated excellence in White House coverage, with a single award for either a print or broadcast journalist. Entries may be made in the form of clippings, original material, wire service printouts, photocopies or broadcast scripts.
Alexis Simendinger of the National Journal 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.
2008aldobeckman.pdf (2.5 mb)
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 service printouts, photocopies or broadcast scripts. Broadcast tapes may also be submitted with scripts.
The winners are Paul Shukovsky, Tracy Johnson, and Daniel Lathrop of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
In a series of articles, "The Terrorism Trade-Off." they revealed a major shift by the FBI away from white-collar crimes as it ramped up its pursuit of suspected terrorists. Shukovsky, Johnson and Lathrop 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.
2008poe.pdf (2 mb)
Return to the 2008 AWARDS page for additional information about the recipients and this year's ceremony. See the list at right for information about past awards.
2009 CALL FOR ENTRIES
In 2009 the call for entries will be mailed during the first week in January; Entries may be made in the form of clippings, original material, wire service printouts, photocopies, or broadcast scripts or DVDs.The entry deadline is TBA. Please check back for more details.
For more information about each award, click on the Guidelines links at right. For further questions, please contact Ellen Shearer of Medill News Service at (202) 661-0102 or Julia Whiston, Executive Director of the WHCA, at (202) 266-7453.
Ed Chen of Bloomberg News chairs the awards committee and will make the presentations at the 2008 dinner.