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2012 Award Winners

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

2012 WHCA JOURNALISM AWARDS

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.

David Gregory in 2012 at The White House Correspondents Dinner.
David Gregory in 2012 at The White House Correspondents Dinner.

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award

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.”

President Obama congratulates Politico's Glenn Rush, 2012 Merriman Smith Award recipient.
President Obama congratulates Politico’s Glenn Rush, 2012 Merriman Smith Award recipient.
President Obama congratulates CNN's Manu Raju, 2012 Merriman Smith Award recipient.
President Obama congratulates CNN’s Manu Raju, 2012 Merriman Smith Award recipient.
ABC's Jake Tapper is congratulated by President Obama on his 2012 Merriman Smith Award for xcellence in presidential coverage under pressure in the broadcast category.
ABC’s Jake Tapper is congratulated by President Obama on his 2012 Merriman Smith Award for xcellence in presidential coverage under pressure in the broadcast category.

The Aldo Beckman Award

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.

Aldo Beckman Award recipient Scott Wilson, The Washington Post, is congratulated by President Barack Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondent's Associate Dinner.
Aldo Beckman Award recipient Scott Wilson, The Washington Post, is congratulated by President Barack Obama at the 2012 White House Correspondent’s Associate Dinner.

The Edgar A Poe Award

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.

 

2012 Edgar A. Poe recipient Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press, greets President Obama.
2012 Edgar A. Poe recipient Matt Apuzzo, Associated Press, greets President Obama. (Photo/Mike Theiler)

 

Associated Press writers Adam Goldman and Eileen Sullivan greet President Obama after receiving the Edgar A. Poe Award at the 2012 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.
Associated Press writers Adam Goldman and Eileen Sullivan greet President Obama after receiving the Edgar A. Poe Award at the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. (Photo/Mike Theiler)

 

2012 Edgar A. Poe recipient Chris Hawley, Associated Press, greets President Obama.
2012 Edgar A. Poe recipient Chris Hawley, Associated Press, greets President Obama. (Photo/Mike Theiler)