National Press Club

Shearer: News "template" obscured true Katrina story of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' failure

March 14, 2011 | By Terry Hill |

Locking itself into a news coverage “template,” the mainstream media focused solely on the emotional aspect of damage caused to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and deliberately avoided the major culprit of the disaster — flooding enabled by flawed U.S. Army Corps of Engineer design and construction, comedian-filmmaker Harry Shearer charged during a National Press Club luncheon on March 14.

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Tucson massacre catalyzes effort to help mentally ill

March 11, 2011

A quarter of U.S. adults are mentally ill or have addictions but fewer than half get treatment, Linda Rosenberg, president of the Washington D.C.-based National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare(NCCBH), said at a March 10 Newsmaker.

Her remarks came as the Council stepped up in the wake of the January Tuscon disaster its effort to help people recognize and aid victims of mental illness.

"A tragic event or a famous person gets our attention, but the real faces of mental illness are far more ordinary," she said.

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Journalism icon David Broder dies; received Fourth Estate Award in 1988

March 9, 2011

Pulitizer-prize-winning journalist and National Press Club member David Broder died on March 9 at 81 from diabetes complications.

For more than 40 years, Broder was a reporter and columnist for the Washington Post, winning journalism’s top award in 1973 for his coverage of the Watergate scandal. Renowned in the capital and beyond the Beltway for his incisive analyses, he defined the rubric for political reporting and commentary.

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NPR chief defends funding, rebuffs bias accusations

March 7, 2011

Editor's note: Two days after speaking at a March 7 National Press Club luncheon, NPR chief executive Vivian Schiller resigned in the wake of the release of a videotape showing another NPR executive at a Feb. 22 meeting criticizing the Tea Party as "racist" and asserting that NPR would be better off without federal funding. Following is the coverage of Schiller's appearance at the Club.

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Social media played critical role in Egypt's revolution, NPC panel says

March 2, 2011

Egypt's plugged in, vibrant youth helped rally the protestors that lead to the eventual ouster of dictator Hosni Mubarak, a panel of experts said Monday at a National Press Club event sponsored by the club's International Correspondents Committee in partnership with the International Center for Journalists.

"There are 60 million Arabic-speaking Internet users in the region, and Internet use is growing," said Jeffrey Ghannam, an independent media consultant, veteran journalist and author of the new Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) report on social media in the Arab world.

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Huckabee Weighing 2012 Presidential Bid

February 25, 2011

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Thursday running for president in 2012 was "very much an option."

Although President Obama would be a tough competitor, changes in the electoral map mean that the president “can be beaten,” Huckabee told reporters at a Feb 24 Newsmaker event at the National Press Club.

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Nigerian Reform Candidate Seeks Economic Changes

February 17, 2011

With elections set for April in Nigeria, Patrick Utomi, the reform coalition candidate for president, called for sweeping changes in the nation's economy and in its educational and highway systems at a Feb. 16 Newsmaker.

"We have one of the least competitive economies in Africa," he said.

Utomi's self-described passion is tackling the high youth unemployment rate by diversifying Nigeria's oil-dependent economy. His idea, which he calls the "Six Dubai Strategy," envisions agricultural, coal, and other resource production organized around Nigeria's six geo-political zones.

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Black Farmers Pursue Claims Against USDA

February 16, 2011

Whether the nation's black farmers share in the $1.5 billion they were promised in the Claims Resolution Act of 2010 rests partly with federal Judge Paul Friedman of Washinigton, D.C., according to John W. Boyd, founder-president of the National Black Farmers Association.

Boyd told a Feb. 15 Newsmaker that Friedman will have to make key decisions related to claims filed under the law. Many farmers missed the Dec. 31, 1996, filing deadline for federal aid.

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Tunisian, Egyptian Uprisings Reverberate Across Arab, Muslim World

February 14, 2011

Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy prime minister of Malaysia who is now leader of the opposition in parliament, said the recent popular uprisings that led to the overthrow of dictators in Tunisia and Egypt will have serious repercussions across the Arab and Muslim world.

Ibrahim made the remarks on Feb. 11 at an event organized by the National Press Club International Correspondents Committee. The event packed 76 people into the McClendon Room, which normally accommodates 30.

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Author Foresees More Riots in Tibet

February 9, 2011

Protests against the Chinese government that broke out in Tibet in 2008 are a harbinger of worse rioting in the future, according to Tim Johnson, author of Tragedy in Crimson: How the Dalai Lama Conquered the World but Lost the Battle with China.

Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, now has a "Chinese veneer" that upsets many Tibetans who used to know it as the "Holy City" and now refer to it as the "Devil City," Johnson said.

Johnson, former Beijing bureau chief for Knight Ridder and McClatchy, discussed his book at a Book and Author Committee event on Feb. 7.

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