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2007 Award Winners

Charles Gibson congratulates Martha Raddatz, The Merriman Smith Memorial Award winner, at the 2007 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
Charles Gibson congratulates Martha Raddatz, The Merriman Smith Memorial Award winner, at the 2007 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.

2007 WHCA JOURNALISM AWARDS

THE MERRIMAN SMITH AWARD

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

Winner–print: David Sanger, The New York Times 

This deadline piece by David Sanger about North Korea’s testing of a nuclear device provided terrific context on a breaking news story. Sanger’s reporting was complete and multi-dimensional. He gave important background about the economic, political, and scientific impact of the test. The story broke late on a Sunday night. Sanger managed to have a page one story Monday morning that gave the readers all they needed to know to understand what this historic event meant, including challenges for the Bush administration. Read the Winning Entry

Winner–broadcast: Martha Raddatz, ABC News

Martha Raddatz, pictured above, broke the story about the death of Al-Qaeda leader, Abu-Musab Al-Zarqawi in the middle of the night. She continued to report the story all day, expanding the piece as she learned more from her sources. The story that aired on ABC World News gave viewers the context they needed to fully understand what happened. Through the masterful use of graphics and animation, this complicated story came alive for the viewer.
It demonstrates how television can make a complex story compelling. Read the Winning Entry

THE ALDO BECKMAN AWARD

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

Ken Walsh, U.S. News & World Report, receives the 2007 Aldo Beckman Award from Charles Gibson.
Ken Walsh, U.S. News & World Report, receives the 2007 Aldo Beckman Award from Charles Gibson.

Winner: Ken Walsh, US News & World Report

Ken Walsh was honored for his 2006 coverage of the White House, including an in-depth look at Vice President Dick Cheney’s role in the Bush administration and his views on executive power.

Read Ken Walsh’s Winning Entries:

Honorable Mention: Tom DeFrank, New York Daily News

For nearly 40 years, Tom DeFrank has covered the Presidency with distinction. DeFrank is being honored for his reporting in 2006, which includes three exclusive stories: one about the growing tension between close associates of the two Presidents Bush, another about plans for the Bush Presidential library in Dallas, and the third a poignant account of President Gerald R. Ford’s final interview before his death.

Read Tom DeFrank’s Entries:

THE EDGAR A. POE AWARD

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. Learn More

Joan Ryan, San Franciso Chronicle, receives the 2007 Edgar A. Poe Award from Charles Gibson.
Joan Ryan, San Franciso Chronicle, receives the 2007 Edgar A. Poe Award from Charles Gibson.

First Prize: Joan Ryan, The San Francisco Chronicle

First prize goes to Joan Ryan of the San Francisco Chronicle for her powerful account of the difficult life adjustments facing two veterans who returned from Iraq with limbs missing. Ryan’s reporting and writing were so vivid that the judges felt we were living with the two men, yet her stories were disciplined and straightfoward, not maudlin. 

Read Joan Ryan’s Winning Entries:

Honorable Mention: Corine Hegland, National Journal

Honorable Mention goes to Corine Hegland of the National Journal for her excellent writing and reporting about prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Read Corine Hegland’s Entry

Honorable Mentions: Rob Jordan and Emily Witt, Miami New Times

Two honorable mentions, Rob Jordan and Emily Witt of the Miami New Times. Jordan for his wrenching accounts of the daily lives of illegal immigrants and Cubans in Miami; Witt for meticulous reporting about the lives of terrorism suspects at Guantanamo, and about the insurmountable odds facing those who seek a fair trial from federal immigration judges.

Read Rob Jordan’s Entries:

Read Emily Witt’s Entries: