National Press Club

Determining homegrown terrorism 'who' easier than 'why,' CNN analyst tells Book Rap

April 2, 2016 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver | HeatherForsgrenWeaver@gmail.com

CNN security analyst Peter Bergen knows who becomes the typical homegrown jihadi terrorist but has not figured out the more complicated part of the puzzle -- why.

“The average age is 29, a third of these people are married, a third of these people have kids, their average incomes are similar to the average incomes of average Americans," Bergen told a National Press Club Book Rap April 1.

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Jim Lehrer: There's always got to be a program like NewsHour on television

March 30, 2016 | By Bill McCloskey | bmcclos325@aol.com

After years of not expressing opinions on air, retired PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer pronounced the 2016 presidential campaign "unsettling" at an event hosted by the National Press Club’s Broadcast Committee March 29.

"To be a journalist, you have to be an optimist. You have to believe there is a solution," he told a dinner group. This cycle, he's not so optimistic. "I thought it was all going to go away," he said.

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Timeless essentials of foreign reporting are key amid changes wrought by technology, says panel

March 30, 2016 | By Lorna Aldrich | lorna2@verizon.net

A panel on foreign correspondents, appearing at a National Press Club Foreign Correspondents Committee event March 29, emphasized the importance of timeless essentials of foreign reporting amid the changes wrought by technology.

Giovanna Dell’Orto, a former AP reporter and current associate professor at the University of Minnesota, summarized the results of interviewing 61 Associated Press reporters for her recent book “AP Foreign Correspondents in Action: World War II to the Present.”

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Latin America journalists tell how governments, cartels block their investigative stories

March 24, 2016 | By Kristin Szremski | kristin@ampalestine.org

A mayor’s chauffer who was also a straw man for illicit arms deals . . . A corrupt government investigating itself . . . A military that also traffics in weapons with a drug cartel . . .

All great subjects for stories that could serve to hold officials accountable and inform a public struggling toward more democratic societies. But first they’d have to see the light of day.

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IRS Commissioner Koskinen emphasizes agency’s dedication to taxpayers at luncheon

March 24, 2016 | By Talia Schmidt | taliaschmidt@gmail.com

It’s no secret that most Americans despise the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), its commissioner, John Koskinen, acknowledged in a National Press Club luncheon speech March 24 within days of the nation's April 18 income tax filing deadline.

But taxes are the prices citizens pay for a civilized society, Koskinen reminded, quoting legendary former Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes.

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Group announces plan at Newsmaker to recruit millennials to run for office in November

March 23, 2016 | By John Celock | john@johncelock.com

Laquan Austion, CEO of a new political organization, Action for America outlined at a National Press Club Newsmaker news conference March 22 a bipartisan effort to recruit 100 members of the millennial generation to seek state and local political office in the coming election.

“America needs a vibrant political movement for the 21st Century,” said Austion. “Not one that tells people to wait in line.”

The initiative seeks to unite candidates behind a 10-point program of new ideas
for the United States, Austion said.

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Expert panel expects rising tension in the South China Sea

March 21, 2016 | By Lorna Aldrich | lorna2@verizon.net

A panel of experts on Asian and maritime issues predicted to a March 21 National Press Club Newsmaker audience that tension in the South China Sea will increase after an international court ruling expected in the next few months.

China has claimed large areas of the South Chinese Sea, including the Spratly Islands also claimed by the Philippines, which has sued under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), Gregory Poling of the Center for Strategic and International Studies explained.

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NAACP President Cornell Brooks sharply criticizes voter suppression

March 19, 2016 | By Jesse Rifkin | jesserifkin01@gmail.com

NAACP President Cornell Brooks sharply criticized voter identification laws and other methods of voter suppression in a speech Friday at a National Press Club Newsmaker press conference.

Brooks called voting a “civic sacrament in the temple of democracy,” but noted 2016 is the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act.

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Panel explores how media brands work to define social presence

March 18, 2016 | By Julia Haskins | juliaannehaskins@gmail.com

Now that social media is a key facet of most media outlets’ digital strategy, it’s up to journalists to understand how best to utilize it, panelists said at a National Press Club Digital event March 16.

Freelance journalist Carmen Russell moderated a panel of experts spanning the media landscape, all working to define their brands’ social media presence.

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FOIA at 50: Experts reflect on a vital but flawed transparency tool

March 18, 2016 | By Sean Lyngaas | sean.lyngaas@gmail.com

The Freedom of Information Act is both indispensable and falling short of its promised intent, transparency experts said at a National Press Club panel on March 16.

Backlogs and broad use of exemptions are evidence the government’s handling of FOIA requests is “progressively getting worse,” said Jason Leopold, senior investigative reporter at Vice News. Yet despite all of the flaws in FOIA’s implementation, the law is still a “hugely important tool."

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