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Awards
Lifetime Achievement Award


The Washington Press Club Foundation presents the Lifetime Achievement Award every year at the Congressional Dinner. This award recognizes an individual whose outstanding accomplishments promote the journalistic profession and enhance the role of women journalists.  

 

The 2020 Award Goes to Cokie Roberts

Challenging segregation laws, Hunter-Gault became the first black woman to enroll at the University of Georgia in 1961. Her acclaimed 1992 autobiography, "In My Place," includes her account of this experience.
 
After getting her professional start in television, in the WRC-TV newsroom in Washington, D.C., Hunter-Gault moved quickly to the New York Times, where she single-handedly established the paper's Harlem bureau.
She returned to broadcast in 1978 as national correspondent and occasional anchor for "The MacNeil/Lehrer Report," winning two Emmys and the Peabody Award for journalism excellence. In 1997 she left for South Africa to serve as NPR’s chief correspondent in Africa and later as CNN’s Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent until 2005

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The board of directors of the Washington Press Club Foundation is pleased to announce that Cokie Roberts will be honored with the Foundation's 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award will be presented posthumously as Cokie passed away in September of 2019.  

This award will be presented at the 76th Annual Congressional Dinner on March 25, 2020 in Washington D.C.

Cokie Roberts was the consummate Washington journalist and commentator. Her career included decades as a political reporter and analyst for NPR, ABC News and PBS. As the daughter of former House Majority Leader Haley Boggs and Representative Lindy Boggs, politics was in her DNA.  But also in her DNA were warmth, compassion and legendary human decency.  Cokie was a pioneer in the newsroom and an ardent champion for younger generations of women in the media.    She is remembered as a mentor to countless young journalists whom she inspired and encouraged.  

At the dinner, the Foundation will also announce the creation of the Cokie Roberts Fellowship at NPR. This internship, sponsored by the WPCF,  will be awarded yearly to a deserving applicant who embodies the dedication to the truth that Cokie prized above all else.  

Embracing the goals of the Foundation’s predecessor, the Women’s National Press Club, her commitment to excellence and ability to persevere through the limitations often placed on women in the newsrooms continue to inspire a new generation of young journalists. 

The Washington Press Club Foundation Life Time Achievement Award is based on the ideals of the founders of the WPCF, the Women’s National Press Club.  For over 70 years these pioneers in journalism fought for equal status in the newsroom and within journalism organizations because they believed that the voice of the press should be as diverse as the readers it promised to serve.

Previous winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award include Elizabeth Drew, Robin Sproul, Charlene Hunter-Gault, Ann Compton, Lynn Povich, Dorothy Gilliam, Mary McGrory, Helen Dewar, Nan Robertson and Helen Thomas.  Though all were stellar journalists the Washington Press Club Foundation’s Life Time Achievement Award specifically recognized their life long fight to ensure that women journalists were provided the same opportunities as their male counterparts.  They mentored and they encouraged, and they provided the legacy for many of the women working in journalism today. Today, the Foundation continues their work as we provide funds for paid internships for women and minorities throughout Washington, D.C. newsrooms. 

The Washington Press Club Foundation Life Time Achievement Award is based on the ideals of the founders of the WPCF, the Women’s National Press Club.  For almost 70 years these pioneers in journalism fought for equal status in the newsroom and within journalism organizations because they believed that the voice of the press should be as diverse as the readers it promised to serve.

  Previous Winners:

2006  Helen Dewar

2007  Tad Bartemus

2008  Helen Thomas

2009  Nan Robertson

2010  Dorothy Gilliam

2011  Bonnie Angelo 

2012 Edith M. Lederer 

2013 Lynn Povich

2014 Ann Compton

2015 Charlayne Hunter Gault

2016 Linda Deutsch

2017 Diane Rehm

2018 Robin Sproul

2019 Elizabeth Drew