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2013 Award Winners

President Barack Obama standing and reading a paper in the White House
President Obama reading (photo: Pete Souza)

2013 WHCA JOURNALISM AWARD WINNERS

The White House Correspondents’ Association administers the Edgar A. Poe, the Merriman Smith and Aldo Beckman awards.

THE MERRIMAN SMITH MEMORIAL AWARDS

The $2,500 Merriman Smith Memorial Award for 2013 in the print category goes to Julie Pace, The Associated Press

Shortly following President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election, Julie Pace provided one of the first explanations of the campaign’s winning yet complex ‘get-out-the vote’ strategy. Her detailed and nuanced writing impressed many seasoned political analysts with its scope and clarity. This is all the more impressive because Julie was able to write from a press bus full of Obama Campaign staffers who were already celebrating news of the President’s recent victory. Despite a moving office and party atmosphere, Julie asked serious questions of just the right people. She met an early-morning deadline with her ability to focus and write under extraordinary circumstances, in the tradition of Merriman-Smith.

The Associated Press's Julie Pace, recipient of The Merriman Smith Memorial Award: print category, with President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama at the 2013 WHCA awards dinner.
The Associated Press’s Julie Pace, recipient of The Merriman Smith Memorial Award: print category, with President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama at the 2013 WHCA awards dinner.

The Merriman Smith Memorial Award in the Broadcast category goes to Terry Moran, ABC News

If Diane Sawyer’s description of Terry Moran as “an Olympic speed reader” is correct, then he has done much more than win a gold metal. He has established a speed record that no one is likely to match. When the Supreme Court’s historic 193-page ruling on Barack Obama’s signature Health Care Reform Law was placed in Terry’s hands, he had 30 seconds to read and interpret the ruling before air time. After those few seconds he accurately guided millions of viewers through many of the complexities and seeming contradictions within the ruling. Under tremendous pressure, Terry explained this monumental court decision and its significance to the American people and the Obama Presidency. He accomplished this under extraordinary pressure in the tradition exemplified by Merriman Smith.

ABC News' Terry Moran, recipient of The Merriman Smith Memorial Award: broadcast category, with President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama at the 2013 WHCA awards dinner.
ABC News’ Terry Moran, recipient of The Merriman Smith Memorial Award: broadcast category, with President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama at the 2013 WHCA awards dinner

JUDGES

Ellen Shearer
Medill News Service
Northwestern University
Washington, DC

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

A’Lelia Bundles
President
Foundation for the National Archives
Washington, DC

THE ALDO BECKMAN AWARD

This award recognizes a correspondent who personifies the journalistic excellence and personal qualities of Aldo Beckman. This year, the award goes to Ryan Lizza, The New Yorker

“The judges enthusiastically choose Ryan Lizza of  The New Yorker for his remarkable efforts to provide an independent perspective on President Barack Obama’s presidency and re-election. Deep reporting, both through documents and personal interviews, moves these stories beyond the cacophony of a campaign year. Mr. Lizza, in addition to being an excellent reporter, is a thoughtful, cogent writer: He has a keen ability to take his readers inside decisions and weave a compelling narrative, something he has done for more than a decade covering the White House.”

Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, recipient of The Aldo Beckman Award, with President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama at the 2013 WHCA awards dinner.
Ryan Lizza of The New Yorker, recipient of The Aldo Beckman Award, with President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama at the 2013 WHCA awards dinner.

JUDGES

Matt Mansfield
Medill News Service
Northwestern University
Washington, DC

Jackie Jones
Washington, DCDeborah Nelson
Phillip Merrill College of Journalism
University of Maryland
College Park, MD

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. The 2013 winners are Jim Morris, Chris Hamby, Ronnie Greene of the Center of Public Integrity.

Jim Morris, Chris Hamby, and Ronnie Greene, of The Center for Public Integrity, are the 2013 recipients of the Edgar A. Poe Award.
Jim Morris, Chris Hamby, and Ronnie Greene, of The Center for Public Integrity, are the 2013 recipients of the Edgar A. Poe Award.

 

With deft story-telling and precise data, “Hard Labor” compellingly shows the government has failed to keep its promise to protect workers from injury and death on the job.  Drawing on years of data and on-the-ground reporting in eight states and Canada, the authors demonstrate how corporate corner-cutting, government inability or unwillingness to impose meaningful penalties, and bureaucratic pressure to make caseload quotas how stymied real regulation.  They tell the workers stories in a manner that evokes Studs Terkel, excellently weaving human interest with deep-data scrutiny and using numbers sparingly but with powerful effect.  “Hard Labor” clearly meets the Edgar A. Poe award’s standard of “excellence in news coverage of subjects and events of significant national or regional importance to the American people.”

JUDGES

Barbara Cochran
Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Affairs Journalism
University of Missouri School of Journalism
Washington, DC

Lee Thornton
Phillip Merrill School of Journalism
University of Maryland
College Park, MD

Steve Crane
Cronkite News Service
Arizona State University
Washington, DC Bureau

Josh Meyer
Medill National Security Journalism Initiative
Northwestern University
Washington, DC