2018 "Press vs Politicians" National Press Club Spelling Bee

Sep 27 2018

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Sep 27, 2018 at 7:00pm

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Relationships between politicians and the media who cover them have been tested throughout history, but on Thursday, September 27, 2018 in the National Press Club’s historic ballroom, fun and friendly competition will prevail as lawmakers and reporters compete in the uproariously entertaining Press vs. Politicians Spelling Bee.

Confirmed contestants representing the Politicians team are:

  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.)

  • Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)

  • Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.)

  • Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.)


Those confirmed in the Press corner are:

  • 2017 champion and National Press Club member Todd Gillman (The Dallas Morning News)

  • NPC Vice President Alison Fitzgerald Kodjak (NPR)

  • John M. Donnelly (CQ Roll Call)

  • Alexandra Petri (The Washington Post)

  • Tamar Hallerman (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).



Former National Press Club President Thomas Burr (Salt Lake Tribune) will serve as the host of this year’s Bee, while Dr. Jacques Bailly, the Scripps National Spelling Bee's official pronouncer and 1980 winner of their competition, will officiate.

The Washington press corps is hot off of a two-year winning streak and more competitive as ever as they look to defend their title and take home another NPC Bee Champion Belt. Now tied with two victories a-piece over the last four years of competition, the Politicians (who haven’t netted a victory since Rep. Don Beyer’s win in 2015) hope this year’s match-up spells R-E-D-E-M-P-T-I-O-N.

The first such event was held in 1913, with newly elected President Woodrow Wilson in the audience for the inaugural showdown, which was won by members of the House and Senate. The Press vs. Politicians Spelling Bee was re-instituted on its 100th anniversary in 2013 and has become a Washington tradition since.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the Bee will start at 7:00 p.m. Tickets will also be available at the door, along with a cash bar and complimentary snacks.

Proceeds from the event support the activities of the Club’s nonprofit Journalism Institute, which defends press freedom worldwide, provides training for news professionals, and scholarships for the next generation of journalists.