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2017 Award Winners

Photo: Mike Theiler

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES 2017 AWARD WINNERS

BOB WOODWARD, CARL BERNSTEIN TO SPEAK AND PRESENT AWARDS AT WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ DINNER ON APRIL 29.

The White House Correspondents’ Association is pleased to announce that Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post, Edward Isaac-Dovere of Politico, and David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post are the winners of our 2017 journalism awards.

The awards will be presented by journalism icons Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner on Saturday, April 29 at the Washington Hilton. “The WHCA congratulates our award winners and looks forward to honoring them at our annual dinner, which will be a celebration of the First Amendment and good journalism,” said Jeff Mason, WHCA president and White House Correspondent for Reuters. “No one is better suited to speak about the importance of a free and independent press than Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. We are delighted they accepted our invitation to present these prestigious awards.”

The WHCA represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the administration and advocates for journalists’ ability to see and report on the president and his staff. Here are the details on these awards:

Aldo Beckman Memorial Award

The Aldo Beckman Award goes to Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post.

Remarks from the judges: “Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post chronicled the waning days of the Obama presidency with stories focused on his speeches and policies that contrasted the realities of 2016 with the hopes of 2008. In reflecting on President Obama’s major themes, Jaffe struck an elegiac note. He showed how profound the political divide has become with the starkly different reactions of two Americans to Obama’s final State of the Union address. He probed the uneasiness lying beneath the administration’s drone program. Above all, Jaffe wrote about why a president’s words can have an enormous impact.” The prize, for presidential news coverage, recognizes a correspondent who personifies the journalistic excellence as well as the personal qualities exemplified by Aldo Beckman, the award-winning correspondent of the Chicago Tribune and former WHCA president. It includes an award of $1,000.

Merriman Smith Award

The Merriman Smith Award for print goes to Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico. There was no winner in broadcast journalism this year.

The judges found that Dovere’s March 21, 2016, coverage of the historic press conference of President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro demonstrated the importance of having reporters on the ground. His up-close narrative — the final posted 90 minutes after the conference wrapped — offered the context and insight that comes from knowing your material. Judges also appreciated the journalist’s wry take in a year when humor was appreciated. The award was conceived in memory of the late Merriman Smith of United Press International, a White House correspondent for more than 30 years and to promote the excellence he brought to his profession. It includes an award of $2,500.

 

Photo: Mike Theiler

Edgar A. Poe Award

The Edgar A. Poe Award goes to David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post.

Remarks from the judges: “David Fahrenthold took the simple question of whether Donald Trump is the philanthropist he claims to be and told a story that showed more about the candidate’s character than any campaign debate or rallies could ever do. His work was steady, thorough and factual — and a display of investigative reporting at its best. His creative use of crowd-sourced information that he continued to gather made the story richer and showed the American people were paying attention.” The prize of $2,500 is funded by the WHCA and the New Orleans Times-Picayune honor of their distinguished correspondent Edgar A. Poe. Mr. Poe is a former WHCA president.

Photo: Mike Theiler

Honorable Mentions: 

CBS’ 48 Hours

Remarks from the judges: “At a time when the American people were divided and raw over the gun debate, 48 Hours’ ‘Bringing A Nation Together’ took on this polarizing subject and made headway in showing its audience a path forward. It was stunningly shot and produced and demonstrated that long-form television journalism is very much alive and important. It shows what television can do when time, focus and care are brought to bear on an emotional and searing issue and counters the narrative that the only thing media can do is divide and report through the most superficial of lenses.”

International Consortium of Journalists and Center for Public Integrity – Panama Papers

Remarks from the judges: “Breathtaking in its scope, this project set a standard for international journalistic cooperation. We can only hope that the future brings more efforts like this.”