The National Press Club is a professional organization and business center for journalists and communications professionals. It is located in Washington, D.C. Its membership consists of journalists, former journalists, government information officers, and those considered to be regular news sources. It has gatherings with invited speakers from public life as well as a venue open to the public to host business meetings, news conferences, industry gatherings and social events.
|Sample of Luncheon Speakers|
|National Press Club Luncheon Speakers, Harry S. Truman, four press conferences – May 10, 1954, April 12, 1958, December 8, 1958, November 2, 1961, Library of Congress|
|National Press Club Luncheon Speakers, A. Philip Randolph, August 26, 1963, 55:17, Randolph speaks starting at 4:56 about the forthcoming March on Washington, Library of Congress|
|National Press Club Luncheon Speakers, James H. Billington, January 12, 1989, 57:46, Billington speaks starting at 6:33, Library of Congress|
Founded in 1908, the club has been visited by many U.S. presidents, and many since Warren Harding have been members – most have spoken from the club's podium. Others who have appeared at the club include monarchs, prime ministers and premiers, members of Congress, Cabinet officials, ambassadors, scholars, entertainers, business leaders, and athletes. The Club's emblem is the Owl, in deference to wisdom, awareness and nights spent working.
On March 12, 1908, 32 newspapermen met at the Washington Chamber of Commerce to discuss starting a club for journalists. At the meeting they agreed to meet again on March 29 in the F Street parlor of the Willard Hotel to frame a constitution for the National Press Club. The Club founders laid down a credo which promised "to promote social enjoyment among the members, to cultivate literary taste, to encourage friendly intercourse among newspapermen and those with whom they were thrown in contact in the pursuit of their vocation, to aid members in distress and to foster the ethical standards of the profession."
With $300, the founding members moved into its first club quarters on the second floor of 1205 F Street NW. By 1909, the club had outgrown its new quarters and moved above Rhodes Tavern at the corner of 15th and F Streets. Once again the club outgrew its residence and moved to the Albee Building (formerly Riggs) at 15th and G Streets.
In 1925, National Press Club President Henry L. Sweinhart, appointed a special building committee to plan for a permanent club headquarters. The Ebbitt Hotel was demolished, and the Ebbitt Grill moved to the Albee building. The new National Press Building, at 14th and F Streets NW, was completed in August 1927, and included retail space and office space intended for Washington news bureaus, with the club occupying the 13th and 14th floors. In order to increase their funding, the club made a deal with movie studio 20th Century Fox to build a theater as part of the building.
In 1932, Bascom N. Timmons, who established an independent news bureau in Washington, D.C., became president of the Press Club. He worked to save the press club building in New York City from foreclosure by persuading President Franklin Roosevelt to sign an amendment to the federal bankruptcy law that blocked pending foreclosure and kept the building open.
The National Press Building was renovated from 1984 to 1985, in conjunction with the development of the adjacent The Shops at National Place. Beginning in 2004, a 10-year, $15 million second renovation occurred. In 2011, the building was sold to Quadrangle Development Corp. and AEW Core Property Trust (U.S.) for $167.5 million. The owners placed the building, assessed at $237.5 million, up for sale in August 2014.
During the Great Depression, the Club struggled financially as it was beginning to be recognized as an influential group. It managed to find additional funding from wealthy individuals.
Regular weekly luncheons for speakers began in 1932 with an appearance by president-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since then the Club has hosted an average of 70 luncheons each year with prominent people. Over the years Nikita Khrushchev, Soong Mei-ling (Madame Chiang Kai-shek), Golda Meir, Indira Gandhi, Muhammad Ali, Charles de Gaulle, Robert Redford, Boris Yeltsin, Elizabeth Taylor, Nelson Mandela, Yasser Arafat, Dalai Lama, Angelina Jolie, George Carlin, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Elizabeth Warren have all spoken at the club.
The National Press Club was founded by white male journalists. Female journalists founded a Women's National Press Club in 1919, and African-American journalists founded the Capital Press Club in 1944. The first African-American male journalist was accepted for National Press Club membership in 1955. In December 1970, members of the Women's National Press Club voted to allow men into their club and renamed it the Washington Press Club. The next month, the National Press Club voted 227 to 56 to admit women. In 1972, journalist Gloria Steinem, a feminist leader and founder of Ms. magazine, was the first woman to speak at the National Press Club, although first lady Eleanor Roosevelt attended lunch at the then all-male club in 1938. In 1985, the Washington Press Club and the National Press Club merged under the banner of the National Press Club.
The Washington Press Club Foundation (WPCF) continues as a nonprofit organization to promote equality, education and excellence among journalists in print and broadcast media. It has a Women in Journalism Oral History Project, arranges journalism internships for women and minorities in partnership with Washington DC-based news bureaus, and since 1945 an Annual Congressional Dinner, its signature fundraising event.
Speaking at the National Press Club to mark his retirement, CBS commentator Eric Sevareid called the club the "sanctum sanctorum of American journalists" and said "It's the Westminster Hall, it's Delphi, it's Mecca, the Wailing Wall for everybody in this country having anything to do with the news business; the only hallowed place I know of that's absolutely bursting with irreverence."
The Broadcast Operations Center opened in 2006. Located on the 4th floor of the National Press Building, a full-service video production with facilities for webcast and video conference solutions, video production capabilities, global transmission portals, and web enabled multimedia.
The National Press Club also rents space to other organizations.
The National Press Club Journalism Institute, the non-profit arm of the National Press Club, trains communications professionals in a changing media environment, provides scholarships to the next generation of journalists, recognizes excellence in journalism, and promotes a free press. The Institute also trains working journalists through its Bloomberg Center for Electronic Journalism, and provides research for communications professionals through its Eric Friedheim Journalism Library.
The organization administers the annual Freedom of the Press Award, which honors two recipients, one foreign and one domestic, who have demonstrated the "principles of press freedom and open government." Among the winners include Brian Karem, Joseph Hosey, Tim Tai, Mahmoud Abou Zeid and Ahmed Humaidan.
In December 2017, the National Press Club awarded the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award to Mexican journalist Emilio Gutiérrez, who faced deportation from the United States, "on behalf of Mexico’s besieged journalists."
Louis Andrew "Drew" Von Bergen (January 24, 1940 – December 18, 2017) was an American journalist and press secretary, based in Washington D.C. Von Bergen was a national labor reporter for United Press International (UPI) from 1963 until 1985. Additionally, he became President of the National Press Club in 1980 and later served as the press secretary for former Ohio U.S. Senator Howard Metzenbaum.Gridiron Club
The Gridiron Club and Foundation – founded in 1885 as The Gridiron Club of Washington, D.C. – is the oldest and one of the most prestigious journalistic organizations in Washington, D.C. Its 65 active members represent major newspapers, news services, news magazines and broadcast networks. Membership is by invitation only and has traditionally been offered almost exclusively to Washington newspaper bureau chiefs. Recently, however, it has begun opening its doors to such non-newspaper media figures as Tim Russert of NBC News, Bob Schieffer of CBS News, Mara Liasson of National Public Radio, and Judy Woodruff of PBS.In 2008, the club merged with its charitable arm, the Gridiron Foundation, to form the Gridiron Club and Foundation. It is a 501(c)(3) organization and makes annual charitable contributions and provides scholarships to a number of journalistic organizations and colleges, including the University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Norwich College.Michael Cavna
Michael Cavna is an American writer, critic, artist and cartoonist. He is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column for The Washington Post.
His column has received more than a dozen national awards from the Society for Features Journalism, in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.Press club
A press club is an organization for journalists and others professionally engaged in the production and dissemination of news. A press club whose membership is defined by the press of a given country may be known as a National Press Club of that country. Examples include:
National Press Club (Australia)
Concordia Press Club (Austria), the oldest of its type in the world
National Press Club of Canada
Press Club de France
Press Club, Thiruvananthapuram (India)
Japan National Press Club
National Press Club (Pakistan)
National Press Club (Philippines)
Press Club Polska (Poland)
National Press Club (South Africa)
Birmingham Press Club (UK)
London Press Club (UK)
National Press Club (United States)
National Press Club (Bangladesh)Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive
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Currently, the University is composed of three Colleges: The College of Arts and Sciences, The Kania School of Management, and The Panuska College of Professional Studies, all of which contain both undergraduate and graduate programs. Previously, the University had a College of Graduate and Continuing Education, which has recently been folded into the colleges of the respective programs. The University offers 65 Bachelor's Degree Programs, 29 Master's Degree Programs, 43 Minors, and 38 Undergraduate Concentrations, as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, a Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, and a Doctor of Business Administration Program.The University enrolls approximately 6,000 graduate and undergraduate students. Most of its students are from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. In 2016, about 58% of its undergraduate students were women and 42% men. In its graduate programs, about 62% are women students and 38% men. The University has about 300 full-time faculty members, approximately 200 of which are tenured.Wa Lone
Wa Lone (born c. 1986) is an award-winning Reuters journalist and children's author who, with fellow reporter Kyaw Soe Oo, was arrested on 12 December 2017 in Myanmar because of their investigation into the Inn Din massacre. A police witness testified that their arrest was a case of entrapment. It is believed to have been intended to intimidate journalists.
The case has received international attention. During 2018, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo have received a number of international awards, including being listed among Time magazine's Persons of the Year for 2018. They have been the subject of human rights appeals by Amnesty International, PEN America, and Reporters Without Borders.