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December 22, 2016 - WHCA STATEMENT

Subject: [WHCA Supplemental] [WH Pool] Statement from the WHCA on President-elect Trump's communications team appointments

The White House Correspondents' Association congratulates Sean Spicer on his appointment today as President-elect Trump's White House press secretary. We also congratulate Hope Hicks, Jason Miller, and Dan Scavino on their appointments to the president-elect's communications team. We look forward to working with all of them in the months ahead.

-Jeff Mason, WHCA president

December 14, 2016 - WHCA STATEMENT

[WHCA Supplemental] [WH Pool] Statement by WHCA President Jeff Mason about Briefing Room seating

The White House Correspondents' Association notes with concern the comments President-elect Donald Trump's chief of staff-designate Reince Priebus made on today's Hugh Hewitt program. There was a notable factual inaccuracy in Mr Priebus's remarks: News organizations have had assigned seats in the briefing room since those seats were installed in 1981. That was not an Obama-era innovation as Mr. Priebus suggested. The WHCA assumed responsibility for assigning the seats in the briefing room over the last two decades at the request of both Republican and Democratic administrations, who were mindful of the potential appearance of playing favorites if they assigned the seats themselves. The WHCA looks forward to meeting with the incoming administration to address questions and concerns on both sides about exactly this sort of issue.

-Jeff Mason, WHCA President

November 16, 2016 - WHCA STATEMENT

On Tuesday President-elect Trump went out for dinner in New York without a pool of journalists in his motorcade and after reporters were advised that he was in for the night. One week after the election, it is unacceptable for the next president of the United States to travel without a regular pool to record his movements and inform the public about his whereabouts. The White House Correspondents' Association is pleased to hear reassurances by the Trump transition team that it will respect long-held traditions of press access at the White House and support a pool structure. But the time to act on that promise is now. Pool reporters are in place in New York to cover the president-elect as he assembles his new administration. It is critical that they be allowed to do their jobs.

–Jeff Mason, WHCA president

November 14, 2016 - WHCA STATEMENT

The White House Correspondents' Association is deeply concerned by President-elect Donald Trump's decision to reject the practice of traveling with a "protective pool" of reporters for his first visit to Washington since the election. In addition to breaking with decades of historical precedent and First Amendment principles, this decision could leave Americans blind about his whereabouts and well-being in the event of a national crisis. A pool of reporters is in place and ready to cover President-elect Trump. The WHCA urges President-elect Trump to allow it to do its job, including being present for motorcade movements, meetings, and other interactions. Not allowing a pool of journalists to travel with and cover the next president of the United States is unacceptable.

-Jeff Mason, WHCA president

Ballots were counted at the WHCA offices on July 14, 2016. A total of 217 ballots were cast; none were ruled invalid for failing to follow proper procedure and 217 were counted by President Jeff Mason, along with Carol Lee, president, 2015-16; Caren Bohan, president, 2011-12; and Carl Cannon, president 2003-04.
PRESIDENT 2018-2019
Olivier Knox, Yahoo News  

Olivier Knox, Yahoo News           

Zeke Miller, TIME                                       

Alicia Jennings, NBC News 

July 14, 2016

The White House Correspondents’ Association is alarmed by the treatment of the press in the 2016 presidential campaign. READ THE USATODAY OP-ED


July 13, 2016

We are seeking to partner with a major university with a record of presidential scholarship and/or an academic commitment to the teaching of journalism to assist us in both developing and expanding a searchable database of print pool reports. These reports document the day-to-day, and in some cases the hour-to-hour, activities of the President of the United States as witnessed by journalists covering the White House. They are the indispensable first page in the history of those that have served in the White House. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31, 2016. For more details, DOWNLOAD THE RFP (pdf).


scholarship mentoring
photo/Gabriella Riccordi

The WHCA sponsors some $100,000 in scholarships that are awarded at our annual dinner every year. In 2016, to go beyond just awarding funds, the board started a mentorship program that paired up students with members of the association for career advice and counsel. The program was a big success.



June 14, 2016

The White House Correspondents' Association stands with the Washington Post and numerous other news outlets that Donald Trump has arbitrarily banned from his campaign events.

Any nominee for the highest office in the country must respect the role of a free and adversarial press, not disown the principles of the First Amendment just because he or she does not like the tone or content of their coverage.

-- Carol Lee, President, WHCA




Visit the DINNER, AWARDS, SCHOLARSHIPS, and the 2016 SLIDESHOW pages for in-depth coverage of this year's dinner.
© Mary F. Calvert Photography

White House Correspondents' Association™ Announces 2016 JOURNALISM AWARDS

The White House Correspondents' Association, founded in 1914 and dedicated to full coverage of the President of the United States, is proud to announce the winners of its annual awards for distinguished print and broadcast journalism.

The winner of the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for excellence in White House coverage is Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal.

The winner of the Merriman Smith Award for outstanding White House coverage under deadline pressure is Matt Viser of the Boston Globe. The winner of the Merriman Smith award for broadcast journalism is Norah O'Donnell of CBS News.

The Edgar A. Poe awards, which recognizes excellence in coverage of events or investigative topics of regional or national interest, will be shared this year by Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post and Neela Banerjee, John Cushman Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song of InsideClimate News.

The Edgar A. Poe Award

The Edgar A. Poe Award honors excellence in news coverage of subjects and events of significant national or regional importance, written with fairness and objectivity. A prize of $2,500 was established by the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Newhouse Newspapers in honor of their distinguished correspondent, Edgar A. Poe.

From the Judges on Terrence McCoy of The Washington Post: After African-American Freddie Gray died in police custody in Baltimore, McCoy investigated the fact overlooked by others that Gray ingested lead paint as a child, leaving him permanently disabled. McCoy learned Gray was among tens of thousands of poor black Baltimore residents similarly poisoned as children. Gray had received a settlement from a 2008 lead poisoning lawsuit, with the money distributed over years to assure that plaintiffs, often unsophisticated in financial matters, didn't spend all the money at once. But Gray sold the payouts to a company called Access Funding in return for a lump- sum payment that cost him several hundred thousand dollars in lost payouts. McCoy's investigation found access funding had struck similar deals with many other lead poisoning victims. His findings led to substantial reforms aimed at protecting these vulnerable citizens.

From the Judges on InsideClimate News: As early as 1977, scientists at energy and oil giant Exxon Corporation told top executives that fossil fuel emissions were warming the planet. Over time, however, Exxon became a leader in denying climate change and argued that the science was inclusive. Reporters Neela Banerjee, John Cushman, Jr., David Hasemyer and Lisa Song of InsideClimate News, used documents, interviews and the public record from four decades to reveal a deeply disturbing trail from climate change discovery to denial. The story prompted the New York Attorney General to issue a subpoena to force Exxon to disclose records in order to determine if it committed fraud under state law.

Honorable Mention to Michael Kranish of the Boston Globe: Michael Kranish"s 10-part "Divided Nation" series probed the impact of class, race and income inequality on voter sentiment. His strong characters and compelling writing made personal the vast and widening gap between rich and poor in America. Kranish's reporting linked the 2008 economic crisis, massive home foreclosure, escalating CEO compensation, corporate stock buy-back plans and centuries-old racial schisms to the voter anger, frustration and disillusionment.

Judges for the Poe Award:

Ellen Shearer: Director, Medill School of Journalism Washington Program, Co-Director, Medill National Security Journalism Initiative, Washington, DC

Indira Somani: Howard UniversityAsst. Professor/Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Scholar, Washington, DC
A'Lelia Bundles: National Archives Foundation Washington, DC

Frank Sesno: Director, The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, Washington, DC

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award for excellence in presidential news coverage under deadline pressure originated in 1970 in memory of Merriman Smith of United Press International, a White House correspondent for more than thirty years. The award carries a cash prize of $2,500.

From the Judges on Matt Viser: In his July 14 piece, "An Inside Look at How the Iran Talks Unfolded," Viser made the judges feel like they were in the room with Secretary of State John Kerry, his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, and the other negotiators in Vienna. Viser made the diplomatic language of a landmark international agreement accessible to average readers. His story skillfully wove in telling details and scene-setting color.

From the Judges on Norah O'Donnell: O'Donnell's "60 Minutes" interview with Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, was insightful regarding the Vice President's announcement that he would not seek the presidency.

Honorable Mention for David Nakamura, The Washington Post: "An Angry Obama Upbraids Critics Who Want to Block Refugees from Syria." The account of President Obama's reaction to the Paris attacks-and to his Republican critics-while attending an economic summit in the Philippines was deeply reported and well written.

Judges for the Merriman Smith Award:

Tom Diemer: Editor and Lecturer Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism Washington Program

Steve Crane: Cronkite News, Arizona State University, Washington, DC|

Jackie Jones: Associate Professor and Chair of Multimedia Journalism, Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD

The Aldo Beckman Award

This award 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. Established in 1981, the Aldo Beckman, a joint effort of The Tribune Company and the WHCA, carries a cash prize of $1,000.

From the Judges on Carol Lee of The Wall Street Journal: Carol Lee focused on one of the most critical responsibilities of a president, foreign policy. Her coverage displayed a heft and authority that illuminated Mr. Obama's policies as well as motivations. She melded the elements into a coherent framework that was understandable to her readers and wove those themes into her coverage of events, providing context and clarifying analysis.

Judges for the Aldo Beckman Award:

Barbara Cochran: Curtis B. Hurley Chair, University of Missouri School of Journalism, Washington, DC

Kwame Holman: Former Political Correspondent, PBS NewsHour, Upper Marlboro, MD

Bryan Monroe: Verizon Chair and Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

The WHCA Board of Directors would like to congratulate the 2016 journalism awards winners and extend our deepest thanks and gratitude to the judges who worked on this year's award submissions.


White House Correspondents' Association™ Announces 2016 Scholars

The White House Correspondents' Association is pleased to announce 18 scholarship winners in partnership with Howard University, Northwestern University, Columbia University, University of Missouri, University of California at Berkeley, University of Maryland, and the George Washington University. They are:

Rushawn A. Walters of Springfield, Massachusetts, is the winner of the Harry S. McAlpin, Jr. Scholarship, a one-time award of $7,000. Rushawn, a junior, is determined to write about the plight of what he calls America's "throwaway" people: the homeless on our streets, often mentally ill, who are sometimes ignored in our society.  Rushawn has experience at Howard reporting and editing, working as an administrative assistant, contributing writer, social media director, production intern and assistant digital editor.

Jazmin Goodwin of Columbia, South Carolina, and Miesha Miller of Kansas City, Missouri, are the winners of the White House Correspondents' Association scholarship prize, a one-time award of $7,000. Jazmin is completing her sophomore year with a membership in Phi Beta Kappa and is the campus editor of Hilltop, the Howard newspaper.  She is also a contributing writer to USA Today College, a digital site with over 500,000 readers. Her professional goal is to become an investigative broadcast journalist who covers human struggles across the globe. Miesha will graduate in Broadcast Journalism from Howard. In 2015, she interned in the CNN newsroom when the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage and the tragic events of the Charleston 9 shooting took place. Her experience as an intern taught her the overwhelming cultural and political importance of mastering speed and accurate communication via social media.

Jasmine Ellis of Audubon, Pennsylvania and Emiliana Molina of Medellin, Colombia are the winners of the Deborah Orin Scholarship, named for the late White House correspondent and Washington bureau chief for the New York Post. Each winner will receive $5,000. Jasmine decided to attend Medill to hone her skills as a political and social justice reporter. She has covered a speech by President Obama to chiefs of police in Chicago and the GOP debate in Milwaukee.  Upon graduation, Ellis will continue to cover social justice issues and politics in the hopes of becoming a White House correspondent. Emiliana arrived in the United States under a grant of political asylum and now is pursuing a master's degree at Northwestern. She has covered the Iowa caucuses and spoken with  presidential candidates.  Emiliana has interned for NBCUniversal/Telemundo 15 and worked at iHeart Media.  She hopes to become a political reporter.

Misha Euceph of Rawalpindi, Pakistan is the recipient of a $5,000 grant through the WHCA to help finance a post-graduate degree for a student in the Government and Public Affairs reporting track. Misha is a Chicago-based radio broadcast journalist. She is pursuing a Masters of Science in journalism at Medill where she specializes in social justice, political and investigative reporting. She also works for the podcast, The City, part of WNYC. 

Ilgin Yorulmaz of Istanbul, Turkey is the recipient of a $5,000 WHCA tuition grant for 2015-2016. Ilgin has worked for twenty- two years as a researcher and magazine correspondent in Tokyo, London and Istanbul.  She is the author of three books about businesses in Istanbul.  Ilgin is attending Columbia University's Journalism School in hopes of refining her skills and ultimately focusing on political Islam; problems faced by Muslim immigrants and the way religion in general and Islam in particular is abused by radicals in underdeveloped countries.

The following graduate students are the recipients of $3,000 grants to study in Washington, DC for a semester: Joshua Benson of St. Louis, Missouri; Shih-Wei Chou of Taipei, Taiwan; Karol Ilagan of Maragondon, Cavite, Philippines; Andrew Kreighbaum of Dallas, Texas; Li Lin of Shanghai, China; Moqiu Ma of Suzhou, China; Caleb O'Brien of Columbia, Missouri; Yizhu Wang of Shanghai, China.

Josh Benson is interested in documentary filmmaking as well as investigative reporting. He has contributed work to The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Associated Press and the Evansville Courier & Press.  He received Best Investigative Reporting and Best Business Story awards from the Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest.

Shih-Wei Chou is a multi-media journalist and award-wining nonfiction filmmaker.  While participating in Missouri's Washington Program, he worked with the Shanghai Media Group US Center, helping shoot and edit news with a focus on Sino-American relations.  His work has aired on a Missouri-based NPR affiliate for issues of freedom in the press.

Karol Ilagan reported for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, a Manila-based nonprofit that specializes in investigative reporting, campaign finance and use of public funds.  She also conducted research on practices relating to access of information about budgetary issues.

Andrew Kreighbaum has previously reported on education and local government issues for a variety of newspapers in Texas including The El Paso Times, The Monitor and the Laredo Morning Times. In 2015 Andrew received a Freedom of Information Award from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.

Li Lin completed her graduate project as an intern reporter at Marketplace Public Radio where she worked on business news production, people on the street interviews and data visualization graphics. Currently she is working for Bloomberg News in London.

Moqiu Ma spent the semester in Washington with TV Asahi America.  Her work included covering State Department briefings, congressional committee hearings, think tank events and senior level press conferences. Her favorite stories are those that involve issues of corporate social responsibility.

Caleb O'Brien is currently based in Asuncion, Paraguay, writing about the connectivity of science, health and the environment with social justice issues.  He has written about drones, accelerometers and DNA bar coding in conservation and ecology. O'Brien completed his graduate project at Mongabay, an environmental science and conservation news and information website.

Yizhu Wang writes about educational technology for the national digital daily news publication Scoop News Group.  She covers how schools are adopting digital learning and classroom technologies. Yizhu has interned in the Shanghai bureau of Reuters, The New York Times and CNBC Asia.  She is particularly interested in business and economics reporting.

Juan Marcos Martinez Chacon of Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, is the recipient of a $5,000 grant through the WHCA toward a post-graduate degree for a student in the Government and Public Affairs reporting track. As a reporter in Mexico Marcos covered political and governmental affairs for Grupo Reforma and CNN Mexico's news site. He has also written about technology and Hispanic communities in the Bay Area for media outlets such as Univision Noticias.

Miles Moore of Atlanta, Georgia, is a recipient of a portion of the Frank Cormier scholarship, a $20,000 award from the WHCA that is divided among four students at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Miles, who represents that group, has written and edited campus publications and been an anchor/DJ for campus radio station WMUC.  He does volunteer work with organizations such as the Maryland Association of Black Journalists, the Capitol Area Food Bank, SHARE Food Network and Kaiser Permanente.

Nana Agyemang of Accra, Ghana, is the recipient of a $2,500 scholarship as part of a partnership between GW and the WHCA. Nana is a photographer, all-around media specialist and winner of a J. Michael Shanahan journalism scholarship.  An internship at CBS News in Washington provided her with a range of news gathering, reporting, interviewing, production and broadcast experience. Nana founded "Freelance Photographer" and is editor-in-chief of The Ace magazine at GWU.



March 10, 2016

The White House Correspondents' Association has received questions about an alleged altercation between a reporter and a member of the Trump campaign staff. It is unclear to us what precisely transpired, as no member of the WHCA board witnessed any confrontation.

Broadly speaking, the WHCA unequivocally condemns any act of violence or intimidation against any journalist covering the 2016 campaign, whether perpetrated by a candidate's supporters, staff or security officers. We expect that all contenders for the nation's highest office agree that this would be unacceptable.

A healthy skepticism of the news media is as much a necessary part of a healthy democracy as skepticism of any institution, and strident rhetoric in politics is not new. We have been increasingly concerned with some of the rhetoric aimed at reporters covering the presidential race and urge all candidates seeking the White House to conduct their campaigns in a manner that respects the robust back-and-forth between politicians and the press that is critical to a thriving democracy.


January 6, 2016

The White House Correspondents' Association is presenting three major journalism awards at the annual dinner on April 30, 2016 to recognize distinguished reporting.  The awards are among the most prestigious in our field.  Prizes range from $1,000 to $2,500. Members, you are encouraged to review your 2015 reporting and consider entering the competition. The three contests are open to print and broadcast journalists. DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL 5:00 PM ON MONDAY, MARCH 14






Photo/Doug Mills, New York Times


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