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National Press Club

Hard News Key to '60 Minutes' Success

November 17, 2009 | By Gil Klein |

“60 Minutes” has attracted a greater audience because it is emphasizing hard news at the same time that most news programs are going soft, Jeffrey Fager, the show’s executive producer, told host Marvin Kalb at the Nov. 16 Kalb Report.

“Our audience has increased as we have gotten harder,” Fager said. “There’s an appetite out there for hard news, and everyone else is going softer.”

That means the show is doing fewer personality profiles than it has in the past, he said, and more investigative pieces and more analysis of the big breaking news events.

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Friedman Receives NPC's Top Honor

November 16, 2009 | By Jerry Zremski |

Thomas L. Friedman offered an optimistic take on the future of journalism Friday -- while his friends told us things about the three-time Pulitzer winner that we never knew -- as the Club presented him with its 37th annual Fourth Estate Award for career achievement.

Speaking at a dinner in his honor, Friedman called journalism "the most fun you can have legally" and said he is convinced that the profession has a strong future even though its current delivery system seems broken.

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Chick-fil-A Founder Tells Down-Home Success Story

November 16, 2009 | By Andrew Kreig |

The 88-year-old founder of Chick-fil-A told a Nov. 13 Club luncheon audience about his company’s tale of continued growth through recent hard times enabled by low-debt, customer service, family ownership and religious faith.

Truett Cathy, who borrowed money in 1946 to start his first restaurant in suburban Atlanta, remains chairman of the privately held company that announced its 42nd straight year of record sales and an expected record of $3 billion in total revenue by year-end.

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Amnesty Int'l Official Urges Action on Human Rights

November 13, 2009 | By Tejinder Singh |

Amnesty International's Asia expert challenged journalists to pose human rights questions to President Obama at his press conference with Chinese President Hu on Nov. 17 in Beijing.

At a Newsmaker Nov. 12, T. Kumar warned Obama to be ready to face protests if he fails to address the issue of human rights publicly in China.

Kumar threatened to hold protests in front of the White House, petition members of Congress and conduct demonstrations during future visits of Chinese officials, including Hu.

Kumar asked: “Why Obama is reluctant to speak publicly?"

Read more Managing Editor, 6:30 pm Nov. 18; Members Only

November 12, 2009

Christine Montgomery, managing editor at, will offer insider's tips for media professionals looking to get a foothold in online media at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Lisagor Room.

The session is the final event of the Breaking in to Digital Media fall speaker series, which aims to give journalists and media professionals an opportunity to glean insiders' tips from prominent online media experts.

This event is for NPC members only and is limited to 40 members.

RSVP to the Events Committee's Christine Dell'Amore:

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NPC Hires Susan Delbert as Executive Chef

November 11, 2009

Susan Delbert, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with wide restaurant experience, has been appointed executive chef and will oversee the Club's two restaurants.

Before coming to the Press Club, she served as a sous chef at the Old Ebbitt Grill, the nation’s sixth highest-grossing restaurant. Prior to her career in food service, Delbert was a tax attorney and a partner in a law firm. In addition, she served in Alaska as an assistant district attorney and an assistant state attorney general.

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Zimbabwe Population in Peril, Rights Advocates Say

November 11, 2009 | By Tejinder Singh |

Zimbabwe today has the stark echos of malnourished Ethiopian population during famine in that country, Magodonga Mahlangu, a leader of Women of Zimbabwe Arise and a co-recipient of the 2009 RFK Human Rights Award, said at a Newsmaker Nov. 9.
The other award recipient, Jenni Williams lambasted the Zimbabwe regime for its failure to provide for its citizens. Williams recalled the dream of Zimbabwe as it got independence from Britain in 1980 and noted the degenerating situation as the country moves from “bread basket (of Africa) to basket case.”

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Illinois Governor Promotes Federal Military Relief Fund

November 6, 2009 | By Keith M. Hill |

Declaring that there is no more important cause for Americans than protecting democracy, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn spoke at a National Press Club Newsmaker Nov. 4 about the establishment of a relief fund for military families.

A bill (H.R. 1175) introduced in Congress in April by Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., would create the National Military Family Relief Fund to be administered by the Defense Department and be available to the families of active-duty members of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. These families often experience a substantial salary cut during these deployments, Quinn said.

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Pub Quiz 7 pm Nov. 12

November 5, 2009 | By Evan Sweetman |

Pub Quiz is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in the Truman Lounge. This event is always great competition, so come by for a fun evening of mind-bending trivia, good company and fun prizes.

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Former Afghan Parliament Member Calls for US Troop Withdrawal

November 4, 2009 | By Lorna Aldrich |

American troops in Afghanistan are war criminals and should leave the country, Malalai Joya, a member of the Afghan parliament, said at the Club Nov. 2.

The event, sponsored by the International Correspondents Committee, introduced her political memoir, "A Woman Among Warlords: The Extraordinary Story of an Afghan who Dared to Raise her Voice." Joya‘s fellow members of parliament voted to suspend her from serving her term following charges that she insulted them.

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