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WHCA’s 2006 Award Winners

The AP, ABC News, National Journal, and Copley have won the top 2006 awards for White House reporting from the White House Correspondents Association, the group announced this afternoon. The awards will be presented at the correspondents’ prom on April 29:

MERRIMAN SMITH AWARD

For excellence on deadline, Deb Riechmann of the Associated Press wins for breaking the news of President Bush’s choice of John G. Roberts, Jr. for the US Supreme Court. The judges declared, “Reichmann worked for months to develop sources… Her bulletin was tightly written, yet showed the drama and momentous nature of the news.”

For deadline reporting on a broadcast, Terry Moran of ABC News “went beyond the obvious story in covering President Bush‘s first visit to areas hit by Hurricane Katrina, going outside the White House press bubble to do original reporting from the viewpoint of the victims,” according to the award judges.

ALDO BECKMAN AWARD

Carl Cannon of National Journal wrote with what the judges describe as “clarity, eloquence, and scholarly authority” in his profile of presidential advisor Michael Gerson, tracing the role of fundamentalist Christians in American politics. The award is given for repeated excellence in White House reporting.

EDGAR A. POE AWARD

“Tenacity” is cited in the work of Marcus Stern and Jerry Kammer of the Copley News Service in their enterprising series to expose Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, “the abuse of power and the climate in which it thrived.” Excellence in news of national and regional importance is recognized annually by the Poe award.

Honorable mentions are cited by the Poe judges for Time Magazine’s “quick and thorough” edition following Hurricane Katrina, “… beautifully written and smartly edited,” and for Russell Carollo and Larry Kaplow of the Dayton Daily News for their unique series using military databases to report on allegations of abuse of authority by some American forces in Iraq.

Each award carries a cash prize.

Coordinating the judging was Ellen Shearer of Medill School of Journalism. Judges included Mary Coffman, Jodi Enda, Brooks Jackson, Lee Thornton, Adam Clymer, Wes Pippert, Jackie Judd, and Rich Foster.

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