Politics & Government

McClatchy's Thomma wins prize for covering presidency

Steve Thomma.
Steve Thomma. MCT

WASHINGTON — Steven Thomma, the senior White House correspondent for McClatchy, has won the coveted 24th annual Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency.

The prize recognizes journalists "whose high standards for accuracy and substance help foster a better understanding of the presidency," said the announcement Wednesday by the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation. It carries a $5,000 award.

The judges issued the following statement along with the award:

"In his reporting Steven Thomma demonstrates a clear understanding that, not the first year, but the second year in office for a new president is the more accurate measure of his leadership, his management of the complexities of federal executive offices, his exercise of constitutional powers, his way of communicating to the American people and his standing in the public mind.

"Thomma not only met the important criteria of timeliness, clarity of presentation, insight and conciseness, but he also made excellent use of expert sources to provide a layer of analysis that stood out among the competition. His writing is clear, based on solid facts and lightened with engaging inventiveness. In every respect, the judges found Thomma's reporting on the presidency in 2010 outstanding."

Prize judges were led by James M. Cannon, former national affairs editor for Newsweek and former assistant to President Ford for domestic policy; Hal Bruno, retired political director of ABC News; John P. McConnell, former deputy assistant and speechwriter for President George W. Bush; Candice Nelson, an associate professor of government at American University; and Mark Rozell, a professor of public policy at George Mason University.

Thomma has covered Washington since 1987. Previously, he won the National Press Club's award for best regional reporting in Washington in 1994, and the White House Correspondents' Association's Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for his reporting on the presidential campaign of 2000.

Shane Harris, a senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, won the Ford Foundation's prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense.

Here are Thomma's stories that won the Ford Foundation prize:

White House message machine spins faster than ever

Obama overlooked key points in giving OK to offshore drilling

Lots of planning for Obama's India trip, but not $200 million worth

No matter where he goes, Obama lives in 'the bubble'

Obama still figuring out how to use his presidential power

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