National Press Club

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

March 24, 2016 | By Talia Schmidt |

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.

Read more

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

March 23, 2016 | By John Celock |

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.

Read more

Expert panel expects rising tension in the South China Sea

March 21, 2016 | By Lorna Aldrich |

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.

Read more

NAACP President Cornell Brooks sharply criticizes voter suppression

March 19, 2016 | By Jesse Rifkin |

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.

Read more

Panel explores how media brands work to define social presence

March 18, 2016 | By Julia Haskins |

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.

Read more

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

March 18, 2016 | By Sean Lyngaas |

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."

Read more

Press Club explores transparency in the District

March 16, 2016 | By Julia Haskins |

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.

Read more

Trump supporters are scared, Gates tells Press Club Luncheon

March 16, 2016 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

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.”

Read more

Club welcomes Jason Rezaian home from Iranian captivity

March 16, 2016 | By Mark Schoeff Jr. |

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.

Read more

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

March 15, 2016 | By Bob Weiner and Ben Lasky |,

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.

Read more