2020 WHCA Dinner Canceled; Plans Underway for Virtual Event
With great regret, we will have to cancel our planned dinner on Aug. 29.
We’ve been working hard to reconfigure the dinner in ways to make it safe for guests and staff. But after consultation with medical experts, government authorities and our own members, we’ve concluded that it is just not possible to put on the kind of dinner that promotes the best in journalism and allows our guests to comfortably and safely enjoy themselves.
We do not want to let this moment pass, however, without telling the truly inspiring story of journalism in 2020, particularly White House journalism. So, we are working at this moment on a virtual presentation that would allow us to salute award-winning journalism, toast an impressive group of scholarship winners, and still enjoy a few laughs.
As you know, our annual dinner is our main source of revenue to finance all of our work, including support of the journalists working to cover the president, events and programs to educate the public about the value of the First Amendment and a free press, and scholarships to help the next generation of journalists.
Several of our members already have graciously offered to convert their payment for dinner tickets to a fully tax deductible contribution. Please contact Executive Director Steve Thomma at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on how to do that. We would also welcome any contributions to help us put together a virtual event to celebrate the crucial role of a free press in our democracy and to pay tribute to our award winners and our scholars.
-Jon Karl, President
The White House Correspondents’ Association is pleased to announce the lineup for its annual dinner.
Kenan Thompson, the actor and longest-tenured Saturday Night Live cast-member, will serve as the evening’s host. Hasan Minhaj, the Peabody award-winning host of Netflix’s Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj, will return to the dinner as featured entertainer.
“Kenan and Hasan are two of the most engaged and engaging entertainers in America. I’m thrilled they’ll help us celebrate the role of a free press in our democracy,” said Jonathan Karl, Chief White House Correspondent for ABC News and president of the WHCA. “We’re looking forward to a lively evening honoring the most important political journalism of the past year.”
The WHCA will be presenting two new awards at the 2020 dinner: The Katharine Graham Award for Courage and Accountability and the Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage by Visual Journalists. These are in addition to the longstanding Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage and Merriman Smith Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure.
This year’s dinner will also 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 recognize outstanding statehouse reporting.
Kenan Thompson began his career as a member of Nickelodeon’s sketch series All That. Thompson is currently in his 17th season on SNL where he has set a record for the most celebrity impressions performed on the show. In 2018, he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics and a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
Hasan Minhaj has hosted his Netflix show since 2018, drawing critics’ raves, including a Peabody award in 2019, for his humorous and informed examination of issues of domestic and global import. He was the entertainer at the 2017 WHCA Dinner when he was a senior correspondent on The Daily Show. His one-hour Netflix comedy special Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King was released in 2017, for which he won his first Peabody Award in 2018.
This year the WHCA has partnered with Bob Bain Productions, which has produced such events as the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the Creative Arts Emmys, Miss America and the Trevor Noah stand-up specials.
The White House Correspondents’ Dinner is a non-partisan event that supports the work of the WHCA to protect the role of independent news media coverage of the president. Proceeds fund the organization’s operating expenses and go toward scholarships and awards aimed at promoting aspiring journalists and recognizing excellence in the journalism profession.
Stay tuned for further announcements about the 2020 White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
For more information, contact WHCA Executive Director Steve Thomma at email@example.com or 202-266-7453.
Only WHCA members are eligible to purchase tickets. Auctions and raffles of WHCA dinner tickets designed to raise money for other organizations or for commercial purposes are against the policy of the organization.
Scholarships for promising journalism students play an important part in the associations’ mission. Read about the talented recipients who were honored and learn about our expanded scholarship program.
We are proud to sponsor several prestigious professional journalism awards that highlight our colleagues’ significant accomplishments in the field. The call for entries goes out in January, and awards are presented in the spring at the annual dinner.