National Press Club

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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Press Club explores transparency in the District

March 16, 2016 | By Julia Haskins | juliaannehaskins@gmail.com

The National Press Club’s Freedom of the Press Committee joined the D.C. Open Government Coalition March 15 to present the 2016 D.C. Open Government Summit, highlighting government transparency in the District.

The event coincided with Sunshine Week, a national celebration of public access to government data.

Following an introduction by D.C. OGC President Kevin Goldberg, the event opened with a conversation between D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. OGC founder Tom Susman.

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Trump supporters are scared, Gates tells Press Club Luncheon

March 16, 2016 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver | HeatherForsgrenWeaver@gmail.com

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is speaking to a “deep set of fear within a large segment of the American community,” but Trump opponents shouldn’t mock his supporters, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. told a sold-out National Press Club Luncheon on March 14.

“We have all been frightened,” Gates said. “You can’t mock the people who are frightened.”

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Club welcomes Jason Rezaian home from Iranian captivity

March 16, 2016 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. | markschoeff@gmail.com

National Press Club members, journalism colleagues, diplomats and family members welcomed Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian home from captivity in Iran at a Club celebration on March 14.

More than 300 people gathered in the Club ballroom for an event that doubled as a tribute to Rezaian’s freedom and his 40th birthday.

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Former Cuban political prison Alan Gross says Obama visit timely, could aid private sector communication

March 15, 2016 | By Bob Weiner and Ben Lasky | weinerepublic@comcast.net, laskyben@gmail.com

President Obama's visit next week to Cuba and the newly improved relations with the U.S. have the potential bring more open communication and full internet access, which could help shift Cuba’s embargo-hamstrung economy from 11% private sector to 90%, former Cuban political prisoner Alan Gross told a packed Newsmaker on Tuesday.

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New Metro manager says train system "much worse" than he expected

March 8, 2016 | By Wesley G. Pippert | PippertW@missouri.edu

Paul Wiedefeld, the new general manager of the Washington Metro, told a National Press Club luncheon Monday that he found things when he took office three months ago as "much worse than I expected" and would deal first with nuts and bolts issues before tackling a long-term strategy.

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Digital media expert affirms importance of cultivating valuable audiences

March 8, 2016 | By Gabby LaVerghetta | gabby@smoottewes.com

Building relationships is critical for organizations that want to mobilize their followers to take action on social media, Shana Glickfield said at the Get It Online: Social Media for Advocacy event March 8. Organizations should be active members of an online community, she said.

Glickfield, a founder and partner at Beekeeper Group, has more than a decade of experience in social media.

Online tools have enormous value as advocacy tools, she said, but using them properly requires an investment of time and strategic thinking.

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ClearPath announces effort to make clean energy a priority for the GOP

March 8, 2016 | By Rita Mhley | rmassoc@aol.com

To spur fresh ideas and stimulate thoughtful debate about the merits of clean energy, conservative philanthropist Jay Faison, founder and CEO of ClearPath, a private foundation, announced today at the National Press Club the launch of a seven-figure digital campaign targeting GOP policymakers and energy policy advocates.

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Aid groups call for full ceasefire in Syria

March 8, 2016 | By Yasmine El-Sabawi | yasmine.elsabawi@gmail.com

With the next round of talks on Syria's future due to officially begin in Geneva on Mar. 14 - five days later than originally planned - some of the largest responders to the humanitarian emergency there told a National Press Club Newsmaker March 3 that only an all-encompassing, long-term ceasefire can bring relief.

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Candidates elected in 2016 must understand value of space exploration, industry says

March 6, 2016 | By Bill McCloskey | bmcclos325@aol.com

Not many organizations arrange a National Press Club Newsmaker event with the hope of not getting their issue widely discussed.

But, a coalition of 13 organizations in the $330 billion a year space industry, with an interest in ensuring continued U.S. leadership in space, did that Friday at a Newsmaker recorded by C-SPAN.

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