The White House Correspondents’ Association announced the winners of their much anticipated 2020 Journalism Awards this week to recognize journalists who provide outstanding coverage of the White House.
“This year’s winners represent the best of the kind of journalism America needs now more than ever — fact-based reporting that holds those in power accountable without fear or favor,” said Jonathan Karl, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association.
News networks that received awards include: PBS, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The New York Times, and ProPublica. One of the most prominent awards, the Aldo Beckman Award for Overall Excellence in White House Coverage, established in 1981 as a joint effort of the Tribune Company and WHCA, features a $1,000 cash prize. This year, PBS Newshour’s White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor won the Aldo Beckman Award for her unique insights on national stories and delicate handling of race and immigration, judges say.
“Alcindor’s qualities reflect integrity, impartial analysis, breadth and depth of knowledge of the presidency and a love of the institution,” said the WHCA’s press release. “We look forward to watching her work for decades to come.”
The WHCA also introduced two new awards this year: The Katharine Graham Award for Courage and Accountability, and the Award for Excellence in Presidential News Coverage by Visual Journalists.
The Award for Visual Journalists was received by New York Times photographer Doug Mills for “the Pelosi Clap” photo.
“Doug Mills’ photograph of Nancy Pelosi and President Trump at the State of the Union Address is a visual representation of one of the most contentious political relationships in recent memory,” judges said. “The image brilliantly displays the tension, the personal animus and the power clash among branches of government that tells the story of this time and of this presidency.”
The Katharine Graham Award had a particularly contentious field. Writing about the entries for the award, judges noted, “If anyone doubts the vigor of journalism today, we would invite them to look at the entries for the Katharine Graham Award for Courage and Accountability. It was a remarkable field covering a range of topics, which made it hard to settle on a winner.”
Judges ultimately decided to give the Katharine Graham Award to ProPublica for their eye-opening investigations on the “separate collisions in 2017 involving two Navy destroyers and a 2018 Marine mid-air collision.” The Navy worked hard to block the reporting of the incidents which led to the deaths of 23 Pacific Fleet service men, but ProPublica persevered. Judges said, “Top-notch reporting was combined with detail-rich writing that made the stories impossible to put down.”
On behalf of WHC Insider, congratulations to all the winners of the WHCA’s 2020 Journalism Awards.