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2008 Award Winners

President Bush takes a bow at the 2008 White House Correspondents' Dinner. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush takes a bow at the 2008 White House Correspondents' Dinner. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)

2008 WHCA JOURNALISM AWARDS

THE MERRIMAN SMITH MEMORIAL AWARD

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

Winner-print: Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press.

Deb Riechmann, who also received a Merriman Smith award in 2006, 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. Read the Winning Entry

President Bush congratulates 2008 Merriman Smith Memorial Award recipient, Deb Riechmann. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush congratulates 2008 Merriman Smith Memorial Award recipient, Deb Riechmann. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)

Winner–broadcast: Ed Henry of CNN

In the broadcast category, 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. Read the Broadcast Transcript

President Bush congratulates 2008 Merriman Smith Memorial Award recipient, Ed Henry. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush congratulates 2008 Merriman Smith Memorial Award recipient, Ed Henry. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)

THE ALDO BECKMAN AWARD

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

Winner: Alexis Simendinger of the National Journal

Simendinger 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. Read the Winning Entries

President Bush congratulates 2008 Aldo Beckman Award recipient, Alexis Simendinger. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush congratulates 2008 Aldo Beckman Award recipient, Alexis Simendinger. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)

Honorable Mention: Peter Baker, The Washington Post

The judges noted Baker’s carefully sourced and nuanced series of articles offering insights into an imperiled presidency.

THE EDGAR A. POE MEMORIAL AWARD

The Edgar A. Poe Memorial 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

Winners: Paul Shukovsky, Tracy Johnson, and Daniel Lathrop of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

In a series of articles, “The Terrorism Trade-Off,” Shukovsky, Johnson and Lathrop revealed a major shift by the FBI away from white-collar crimes as it ramped up its pursuit of suspected terrorists.They 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. Read the Winning Entries

President Bush congratulates 2008 Edgar A. Poe Award recipient, Paul Shukovsky. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush congratulates 2008 Edgar A. Poe Award recipient, Paul Shukovsky. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush congratulates 2008 Edgar A. Poe Award recipient, Tracy Johnson. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush congratulates 2008 Edgar A. Poe Award recipient, Tracy Johnson. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush congratulates 2008 Edgar A. Poe Award recipient, Daniel Lathrop. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)
President Bush congratulates 2008 Edgar A. Poe Award recipient, Daniel Lathrop. (photo/Neshan H. Naltchayan)

HONORABLE MENTION

John R. Wilke of the Wall Street Journal earned an honorable mention for several stories on Congress’ penchant for earmarked federal spending.

James Kitfield of the National Journal received an honorable mention for his series of articles on developments in the Iraq War.