National Press Club

Downton Abbey comes to downtown D.C.

November 6, 2014 | By Jan King |

Jessica Fellowes, niece of the creator and writer of "Downton Abbey", Julian Fellowes, visited the National Press Club Nov. 5 and delighted the audience with behind the scenes stories about everything Downton.

Fellowes talked about the fifth season of the series -- but "no spoilers," she said. The season is featured in her book, A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey: Seasonal Celebrations, Traditions, and Recipes. The book explores both what a year would have been like living in a large country house in the 1920's and the process of filming a season of "Downton Abbey", she said.

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Panel finds Latino electorate expanding as turnout declines

November 3, 2014 | By Margaret Sands Orchowski |

The Hispanic electorate is diverse and expanding but turnout of Latino voters on Nov. 4 looks at this point to be smaller than in 2012 and may not be decisive for either party.

These were some of take-aways from a National Press Club Newsmakers panel Oct. 31.

There are currently about 25 million eligible Hispanic voters in the U.S. but only about 8 million have registered to vote to date. In 2012, only 48 percent, or about 11 million, eligible Hispanic voters cast ballots; in 2014 the turnout percentage is expected to be even lower.

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Entrepreneurial journalism is the future, says NPC Freelance Committee chair

November 3, 2014 | By Brooke C. Stoddard |

Tam Harbert thinks freelancing is the future for many journalists.

“As traditional media, including print newspapers, magazines and wire services, shrinks, it’s getting more and more difficult to get a traditional job if you’re a young journalist, and even harder if you’re a mid-career journalist,” Harbert said.

At the same time, technology and the Internet have made it easier for journalists to become entrepreneurs. And more and more are doing so – by running their own businesses, she said.

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Author tells story of military working dogs at NPC Book Rap

November 2, 2014 | By Heather Forsgren Weaver |

The emotional bond between military dogs and their handlers has made combat for the human soldiers easier, Rebecca Frankel says in her new book "War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, And Love."

“There was something about having a dog there that not softened the experience but allowed them to keep more of their humanity intact,” Frankel said at a National Press Club Book Rap on Wednesday.

Veterans of several conflicts, including War II, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, told Frankel they "can come back more whole because they had the comfort and companionship of a dog.”

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Janis Joplin's road manager takes audience back to the 1960s

October 31, 2014 | By Joseph Luchok |

John Byrne Cooke, road manager for Janis Joplin from 1967 until her death, talked about his new book "On the Road With Janis Joplin" at the National Press Club Oct. 28.

Cooke explained why Janis Joplin was in three different bands in 3 years. He said she was looking for new challenges and never “jelled” with the first 2 bands.

Her intelligence and ability to articulate enabled her to know and communicate what she wanted in the music, he said.

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Actor and radio host Astin emphasizes preparation and research for public discourse

October 28, 2014 | By Sean Lyngaas |

Actor and radio host Sean Astin underlined the importance of research and preparation as he described his experience of public discourse at the National Press Club Oct. 27.

His celebrity, he said, has “bought a seat at the influencers table. And I may not be able to win a hand, but I’m going to sit down and play because…it’s my God-given, natural and constitutionally-protected right to try.”

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National Press Club Mourns Loss of Ben Bradlee

October 21, 2014 | By Myron Belkind |

The National Press Club mourns the loss of Ben Bradlee, who leaves a legacy of unparalleled journalism achievements as editor of The Washington Post.

He will be remembered as a leader, a legend in journalism and among the greatest newspaper editors of all time.

Our profession has lost an advocate who raised the standards of journalism throughout his career and who will be particularly remembered for all that he and The Washington Post achieved on every major story of his tenure as editor including Watergate and the Pentagon Papers.

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Woodward and Bernstein say Nixon administration corruption far deeper than Watergate

October 21, 2014 | By Gilbert Klein |

The corruption of the Nixon administration was far deeper than the Watergate scandal, reporting legends Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein told host Marvin Kalb Monday night.

“You listen to the tapes, and the hate and the rage and the using the power of the presidency to settle scores goes on endlessly,” said Woodward, referring to the secret presidential tapes that he and Bernstein have listened to over the years.

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Priest barred by Vatican sees change in Catholic Church through voices of lay people

October 21, 2014 | By Lorna Aldrich |

On the eve of an 18-city tour of the United States, Tony Flannery, an Irish priest barred from priestly ministry by the Vatican in 2012, told an Oct. 21 National Press Club Newsmaker audience that change in the Catholic Church would occur through the voices of lay people.

“I be an enormous believer in the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit working through the voice of the ordinary people,” he said.

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Olympic committee president calls preventing sexual abuse most important role

October 21, 2014 | By Wesley G. Pippert |

Scott Blackmun, president of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC), told a National Press Club Luncheon Oct. 21 that one of the USOC's most important roles now is to combat sexual abuse among athletes and create a safe and healthy setting for sports.

"There is no agency or commission today that is responsible for the safety and well-being of young athletes," he said.

Blackmun, who joined USOC in 1999, said, "perhaps most importantly, we need to have a dialogue about the role we each have to play in creating a healthy setting for sport."

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