New date, same mission for the 2020 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

WASHINGTON – As the coronavirus has taken a horrible toll on our nation and the world, members of the White House Correspondents’ Association have been committed to informing the American public and holding public officials accountable.

The WHCA has also been working to protect the health of our members and preserve our ability to continue to cover the White House during this crisis.

While our hearts are heavy for those that have been lost and for those still suffering during this ongoing crisis, we are hopeful for the day when we can all resume normal life.

After consulting with public health and medical officials, the WHCA looks forward to honoring the first amendment and the important work of the journalists at our annual dinner on Saturday, August 29, 2020.

“For most of us, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most important story of our lifetimes,” said Jonathan Karl, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.  “We hope our rescheduled 2020 dinner will be a chance to celebrate the kind the important journalism we have seen throughout this crisis.”

We are pleased that our host, host Kenan Thompson, and featured entertainer, Hasan Minhaj, can accommodate this rescheduled date.  Bob Bain Productions will partner with the WHCA on producing the dinner. 

The WHCA will remain in close contact with the relevant professionals and will provide additional updates on the dinner as necessary.  

For more information, contact WHCA Executive Director Steve Thomma at


New WHCA Award to Recognize Visual Journalism

The White House Correspondents’ Association is very pleased to announce the creation of a new award to honor photojournalism in the coverage of the presidency.

The Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage by Visual Journalists will be presented for the first time at the association’s annual dinner on Saturday, April 25. The detailed Call for Entries will be posted soon.

 “Some of the best photographers and videographers in the business cover the White House, capturing the images that help define the presidency,” said Jonathan Karl of ABC News, the president to the association. “This prize will recognize the best of the best.”

The prize, approved by the WHCA board, will recognize a video or photojournalist for uniquely covering the presidency from a journalistic standpoint, either at the White House or in the field. This could be breaking news, a scheduled event or feature coverage.

Competition will be open to all visual journalists who cover the White House on a regular basis, or whose reporting is primarily devoted to coverage of the White House or the presidency.  The award will be based on a single piece of visual journalism during the year ending December 31, 2019. It will come with a prize of $1,000.

The deadline for entries will be Monday, March 2.

The new award will be one of several honoring exemplary journalism at this year’s WHCA dinner. Also to be presented:

  • The Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage;
  • The Merriman Smith Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure;

The deadline for submissions for the WHCA awards is March 2.

The details and Call for Entries for each will be posted soon at

The 2020 dinner also will include the inaugural presentation of the Collier Prize for State Government Accountability, administered by the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications to honor statehouse reporting. The deadline for submitting entries for that award is Jan. 31. Information about that award and submission information can be found here.

For more information, contact WHCA Executive Director Steve Thomma at 202-266-7453 or

WHCA to Showcase Major New Journalism Award

The White House Correspondents’ Association is pleased to announce that it will feature a major new prize for journalism at its annual dinner starting in 2020, The Collier Prize for State Government Accountability sponsored by the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

The $25,000 prize, one of the largest journalism prizes in the nation, is designed to encourage coverage of state government, focusing on investigative and political reporting.

The award is funded by Nathan S. Collier, founder and chairman of The Collier Companies headquartered in Gainesville, Florida. Collier is a descendant of Peter Fenelon Collier, who in 1888 founded Collier’s, a weekly magazine focused on investigative journalism and publishing stories from renowned journalists such as Jack London, Upton Sinclair, Ida Tarbell and Samuel Hopkins Adams. 

One of the magazine’s most famous investigative series was the “The Great American Fraud,” which analyzed the contents of popular patent medicines and led to the first Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906.

Collier’s Weekly had a long history of investigative journalism, shining light in the dark recesses of government,” said Collier, great grandnephew of the magazine’s founder. “I am honoring Peter Fenelon Collier’s vision and dedication by supporting a vibrant free press, particularly at the state government level.”

The WHCA board agreed to present the award to help encourage and promote state-based reporting.

“I’m deeply grateful to the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications for partnering with us to create the Collier Prize for Statehouse Accountability,” said Olivier Knox, WHCA president. “Few trends in news worry me more than the widespread hollowing-out of local and regional coverage. The WHCA cannot, by itself or even with a generous partner, reverse this corrosive phenomenon, but we owe it to ourselves and to the public to sound this call to arms.”

In announcing this award, UFCJC Dean Diane McFarlin cited a diminished investment in statehouse coverage over the last decade.

“The professional news media’s watchdog role in state capitols has declined precipitously over the last decade in the number of journalists employed to cover state governments,” said McFarlin, former publisher of the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune. “The result is that citizens don’t know what they don’t know, and the danger is that corruption and malfeasance can proceed unchecked. We hope this prize will encourage more rigorous coverage of a government body that has a direct impact on citizens’ lives every day.”

A 2014 assessment of state capitol press corps by the Pew Research Center found that the number of newspaper reporters covering state capitols declined by 35 percent between 2003 and 2014. Less than one-third of newspapers today assign even one reporter to the statehouse. Among local TV news stations, it is just 14 percent.  In Florida alone, the number of journalists stationed in Tallahassee and assigned to cover the Legislature and government agencies has dwindled by as much as half in the last decade, by some estimates.

UFCJC will partner with WHCA to promote, administer and present the annual award. Although primarily focused on White House coverage, WHCA seeks to support the coverage of politics and government broadly, including the state level.

Details for submitting nominations for the 2020 award will be available in fall 2019.

About Nathan S. Collier

Nathan S. Collier is founder and chairman of The Collier Companies, the largest owner of multifamily housing with more than 45 properties and approximately 11,000 apartments in Florida, Oklahoma and Georgia. Collier, who earned a bachelor’s, master’s and J.D. from the University Florida, has endowed the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate program at UF’s Warrington College of Business. He is a generous supporter of the arts in Gainesville and financial patron of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, and Metropolitan Museum of Art.

About the White House Correspondents Association

The White House Correspondents’ Association exists to promote excellence in journalism as well as journalism education, and to ensure robust news coverage of the president and the presidency. 

About the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, recognized by its peers as one of the premier programs in the country, is driving innovation and engagement across the disciplines of advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunication. The college’s strength is drawn from both academic rigor and experiential learning. It offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and certificates, both online and on campus. CJC students have the opportunity to gain practical experience in the Innovation News Center, which generates content across multiple platforms, and The Agency, an integrated strategic communication and consumer research agency focused on marketing to young adults. The College includes seven broadcast and digital media properties, the Joseph L. Brechner Center for Freedom of Information and the nation’s only STEM Translational Communication Center and Center for Public Interest Communications.

WHCA President Margaret Talev Addresses the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

White House Correspondents’ Association President Margaret Talev addressed the organization’s annual dinner on the need for a free and fair press in the U.S. and around the world.

“We reject efforts by anyone, especially our elected leaders, to paint journalism as un-American, to undermine trust between reporter and reader, or to cast doubt on the relevance of facts and truth in the modern age. An attack on any journalist is an attack on us all”

Watch her full speech below:

Aya Hijazi Addresses 2018 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

Egyptian-American social activist Aya Hijazi credits the role America’s free press played in helping to secure her release as a political prisoner in Egypt as she addresses the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.

Speaker Ryan Addresses 2018 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner

The Future Former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan offers video congratulations to scholarship winners and thoughts on journalism to guest at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. The video aired during the dinner on April 28, 2018.

Speaker Paul Ryan Greets WHCA Scholarship Winners

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan addressed the annual WHCA student scholarship luncheon on Friday April 25, 2018, congratulating the two dozen awardees on their selection and encouraging them to keep on in standing up for the First Amendment.

“It is the Amendment that keeps our government honest,” Ryan told the group of  student scholars and WHCA members. “You need some institution that’s going to separate right from wrong.”

Ryan pressed the students to be mindful of their responsibility to inform the public, and said their work is more important than amid a climate of misinformation and partisanship.

“Never forget that this a service to the country,” he said.

Ryan took questions from the students, and afterward posed for photos with the awardees.

Photo: Christy Bowe – ImageCatcher News

White House Correspondents’ Association Announces Entertainer for the 2017 Dinner

WASHINGTON – The White House Correspondents’ Association is delighted to announce that Hasan Minhaj, a brilliant comedian and Senior Correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” will be the entertainer at our annual dinner on Saturday, April 29, 2017.

“I am thrilled that Hasan will serve as our featured entertainer at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner,” said Jeff Mason, WHCA president and White House Correspondent for Reuters. “Hasan’s smarts, big heart and passion for press freedom make him the perfect fit for our event, which will be focused on the First Amendment and the importance of a robust and independent media.

“The White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which U.S. presidents have attended for decades, supports the work of the WHCA. Proceeds fund the organization and go toward scholarships and awards aimed at promoting aspiring journalists and recognizing excellence in the journalism profession.

“It is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD! Now more than ever, it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press,” said Minhaj.

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.

CONTACT For more information, please contact Jeff Mason at

WHCA statement on the 2017 White House Correspondents’ Dinner

The White House Correspondents’ Association looks forward to having its annual dinner on April 29. The WHCA takes note of President Donald Trump’s announcement on Twitter that he does not plan to attend the dinner, which has been and will continue to be a celebration of the First Amendment and the important role played by an independent news media in a healthy republic. We look forward to shining a spotlight at the dinner on some of the best political journalism of the past year and recognizing the promising students who represent the next generation of our profession.

Note to Members About this Year’s WHCA dinner

On behalf of the White House Correspondents’ Association, I met with incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer today. We had a constructive, nearly 2-hour meeting. We discussed his interest in increasing participation in White House briefings when President-elect Donald Trump takes office. That has sparked his team to consider moving daily briefings out of the White House’s James S. Brady Press Briefing Room to a larger facility on the White House complex.

The White House Correspondents’ Association has always advocated for increasing access and transparency for the benefit of all news outlets and the public.

I emphasized the importance of the White House press briefing room and noted that it is open to all journalists who seek access now.

I made clear that the WHCA would view it as unacceptable if the incoming administration sought to move White House reporters out of the press work space behind the press briefing room. Access in the West Wing to senior administration officials, including the press secretary, is critical to transparency and to journalists’ ability to do their jobs.

Sean agreed to discuss any additional changes that the incoming administration considers with the WHCA ahead of time.

Sean expressed concern that journalists adhere to a high level of decorum at press briefings and press conferences. I made clear that the WHCA would object, always, to a reporter being thrown out of a briefing or press conference.

The WHCA looks forward to having a constructive relationship with the president-elect’s press team and to standing up for the rights of a free press to report vigorously on the new administration.

WHCA 2016 Dinner News

WASHINGTON – The White House Correspondents’ Association™ is pleased to announce that Larry Wilmore, host of “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” on Comedy Central, will be the entertainer at our annual dinner on Saturday, April 30, 2016.

“Larry’s edgy, even provocative, brand of humor means he’s certainly up to the task of skewering politicians of all ideological stripes, and we don’t expect the nation’s news media to escape unscathed, either,” said Carol Lee, White House correspondent for The Wall Street Journal and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association™. “We are thrilled that Larry has accepted our invitation to be the featured comedian at our annual dinner, which will be the last during the Obama White House.”

The WHCA™ represents the White House press corps in its dealings with the administration on coverage-related issues. The WHCA™ dinner is traditionally attended by the President and the First Lady as well as other senior government officials and members of the press corps. Proceeds from the dinner go toward scholarships and awards aimed at supporting aspiring journalists and recognizing excellence in the profession.