National Press Club

VA Secretary McDonald touts reforms he's implemented during Press Club Luncheon

November 6, 2015 | By Varun Saxena | vsaxenaster@gmail.com

In the aftermath of a scandal involving long waiting lines at veterans hospitals and falsified records, progress is being made, but there is still lots of work to done, Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald repeatedly said during a Nov. 6 National Press Club Luncheon.

The former CEO of Proctor & Gamble and graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point was chosen last year by President Barack Obama to lead the tarnished agency’s turnaround effort, dubbed the MyVA Transformation Plan.

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NPC podcast explores efforts to reverse sexism in the world of science journalism

November 6, 2015 | By Candace Smith | cesmith@gwu.edu

Sexism is a major concern among science journalists. In the latest edition of the National Press Club's podcast, Update-1, Broadcast Committee member Candace Smith interviews Deborah Blum, director of the Knight Science Journalism program at MIT, about gender bias and the challenges facing science writers who are women.

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Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy calls for mental health parity

November 6, 2015 | By Julia Haskins | juliaannehaskins@gmail.com

Former Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy called for action to treat addiction and mental illness as legitimate diseases at a National Press Club Newsmakers event Nov. 5 in the Fourth Estate Restaurant.

“We’re living in a watershed time for the movement to ensure that mental illness and addiction are covered as the diseases they are ... and are no longer discriminated against because of age-old prejudices based on unfounded inaccuracies,” Kennedy said.

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National Press Club member Sam Holt recalls founding of Broadcast Committee

November 6, 2015 | By Bill McCloskey | bmcclos325@aol.com

National Press Club member Sam Holt was a founding member in 2006 of the NPC's Broadcast Task Force, which has since become an official committee of the Club. At this month's committee meeting Holt cataloged his other "founding" credentials.

In 1964, Holt founded the all-news format for a Birmingham radio station, the first with the format in the South. He later hooked up with WGBH in Boston and became a founding head of programming for television's Public Broadcasting Service.

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President Obama congratulates Beyer, winner of the National Press Club Spelling Bee

November 6, 2015 | By Julia M. Pyper | julia.pyper@gmail.com

Virginia Democrat Don Beyer took home the trophy at the National Press Club “Politicians vs. Press” Spelling Bee Oct. 21 that pitted seven mem­bers of Con­gress against eight members of the fourth estate.

Nearly 400 people packed into the Press Club ballroom for the event, which was sponsored by Discovery Communications. Attendees mumbled letters under their breath, gasped at fumbles and cheered at successes as contestants tackled words like “avun­cu­lar,” “ac­qui­esce,” and “Plant­a­gen­et.”

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This Week in NPC History: Truman reminisces during National Press Club appearance

November 4, 2015 | By Elizabeth Smith Brownstein | eksmithb@verizon.net

This Week In National Press Club History:

Nov. 2, 1961: Former President Harry S. Truman reminisces about his White House years before a capacity National Press Club luncheon crowd. He criticizes the economic policies of the Eisenhower administration, and reviews the priorities of the new Kennedy administration favorably.

Nov. 4, 1982: Simeon Booker, of Johnson Publications, is the tenth recipient of the Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award.

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Soccer's Abby Wambach says inequity remains in women's sports despite big gains

October 28, 2015 | By Jesse Rifkin | jesserifkin01@gmail.com

U.S. Women's Soccer star Abby Wambach, in her first public remarks since announcing she'll retire from the sport next month, praised the media Wednesday at a National Press Club speakers luncheon for shining a spotlight on women's sports.

“My sincere thanks to those who pushed to cover the Women’s World Cup,” Wambach said."The media helped change not just my life but also many young lives, sending the message that they can do whatever they want in life.”

Media attention helped bolster support for Women's World Cup soccer over her 14-year career, Wambach said.

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Newsmaker: Affirmative Action under Supreme Court scrutiny again

October 27, 2015 | By Bill McCloskey | bmcclos325@aol.com

The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 9 will take another look at the Fisher v. University of Texas affirmative action case that has ping-ponged between the high court and the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals since 2012.

That the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case this time "is bad news for the University of Texas," said attorney Andrew Grossman of BakerHostetler, who represents the Cato Institute and who has filed a Supreme Court brief on UT applicant Abigail Fisher's side in the case.

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Panel of railroad experts urges Congress to address transportation infrastructure needs

October 27, 2015 | By Lorna Aldrich | Lorna2@verizon.net

Joe Boardman, president and CEO of Amtrak, accompanied by members of the Amtrak Chicago Gateway Blue Ribbon Panel, outlined railroad infrastructure needs in Chicago to urge Federal policy and funding for transportation infrastructure at an October 26 Newsmaker event.

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Actor Kevin Costner describes 8-year project that grew into a graphic novel at NPC Book Rap

October 26, 2015 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver | HeatherForsgrenWeaver@gmail.com

Kevin Costner loves telling stories, but he has had to pay for every project he believed in, the Oscar-winning actor and director, and now author told a sold-out National Press Club Book Rap Oct. 23.

“’Dances With Wolves’ was resisted by every studio two times around and I had to do it myself, Costner said. “When this book was concerned, I paid for that, too.”

Costner collaborated with co-author Jon Baird and illustrator Rick Ross to create "The Explorers Guild: Volume One: A Passage to Shambhala," a 784-page book that Ross described as “graphic fiction.”

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