2023 Fourth Estate Award Gala honoring Kristen Welker of NBC News

Kristen Welker (Photo courtesy of NBC News)

Kristen Welker, NBC News chief White House correspondent and incoming moderator of “Meet the Press,” will receive the National Press Club’s Fourth Estate Award during a gala in her honor on Nov. 28 in Washington, D.C. The award recognizes journalists who have made significant contributions to the field and is the Club’s most esteemed prize.

The 2023 Fourth Estate Award Gala will take place at the National Press Club, with Welker joining us to accept her award. Guests in the Washington, D.C., area can attend in person for an elegant dinner and black-tie celebration in the historic ballroom of the National Press Club.

This year’s Fourth Estate gala will also commemorate a Club milestone: The Fourth Estate Award is now in its 50th year. The gala will begin with a reception at 6 p.m. ET followed by dinner and the awards program starting at 7 p.m. in the ballroom. Tickets for the gala are $175 for National Press Club members, and $350 for members of the public.

The Fourth Estate is the top honor bestowed on a journalist by the National Press Club Board of Governors. Previous winners include: Christiane Amanpour, Dean Baquet, Marty Baron, Wolf Blitzer, Tom Brokaw, Walter Cronkite, Lester Holt, Gwen Ifill, Andrea Mitchell, Clarissa Ward, and Susan Zirinsky.

The evening also will honor the winners of the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Awards:

Evan Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal reporter who has been detained in Russia since March 29 and is accused of espionage, and Iranian journalists Niloofar Hamedi and Elaheh Mohammadi, who are currently in prison awaiting sentencing on charges related to national security, which can carry a death sentence.

Kat Stafford, Reuters’ global race and justice editor, also will be recognized as the 2023 winner of the Neil and Susan Sheehan Award for Investigative Journalism.

About the gala

Tickets to the in-person gala at the National Press Club are:

  • $175 for National Press Club members (maximum two per member)
  • $350 for the public (no maximum)

Tickets include a pre-dinner reception, dinner and beverages. Doors will open at 6 p.m. ET for a reception, with dinner and the program starting at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here.

Sponsorship opportunities

The fundraiser, attended by hundreds of journalists and media luminaries, raises a large portion of the operating expenses for the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s nonprofit affiliate. The Institute produces training that equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public, advocates for press freedom, provides career support for journalists, and provides scholarships to aspiring journalists.

For information on sponsorship opportunities, please click here or email NPCJI executive director Beth Francesco at [email protected].

Getting to the National Press Club

The National Press Club is located at 529 14th St. NW, the entrance at the corner of F & 14th Streets NW, in downtown Washington. The club is on the 13th floor of the historic National Press Building.

About Kristen Welker

Starting Sept. 17, Welker will become the 13th moderator of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” the longest-running show on television. She will be the second woman to moderate the program and the first journalist of color to moderate a Sunday public affairs broadcast.

Welker joined “Weekend TODAY” as co-anchor in January 2020 and began covering the White House for NBC News in December 2011, traveling domestically and internationally with President Barack Obama, then-First Lady Michelle Obama, and then-Vice President Biden. Welker also covered President Donald Trump’s administration, the 2020 presidential race, and is currently leading the network’s coverage of all aspects of the Biden administration.

During the 2020 general presidential election, Welker moderated the final presidential debate between Trump and Biden on Oct. 22, 2020, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Welker received universal praise for her performance, and USA TODAY wrote that she was “praised for ‘masterclass’ debate moderation.” In November 2019, Welker co-moderated the fifth Democratic presidential debate hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post at Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta, GA alongside Rachel Maddow, Andrea Mitchell, and Ashley Parker of The Washington Post.

During the 2016 presidential election, Welker reported from the trail covering former Sec. Hillary Clinton’s campaign. She broke the exclusive that Biden decided not to run for office that cycle.

Prior to the White House beat, Welker was a network correspondent based in Burbank, California, joining NBC News in 2010. During her first year at the network, Welker was nominated for a national Emmy Award for her role in NBC News’ midterm election coverage. She won a national Emmy Award for her role in NBC News’ coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Welker was also a researcher on “Weekend TODAY” early in her career and an intern for “TODAY” while in college.

Welker previously worked at WCAU-TV, NBC’s Philadelphia-owned and -operated station, where she anchored the NBC 10 weekend newscasts and started as a general assignment reporter in April 2005. She also previously worked at WLNE-TV in Providence, Rhode Island, and KRCR-TV in Redding, California.

Welker, a native of Philadelphia, graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in American history. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, John Hughes, and daughter, Margot Lane.

About the National Press Club

Founded in 1908, the National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists. The Club has 3,000 members representing nearly every major journalism organization and is a leading voice for press freedom in the United States and around the world.

About the National Press Club Journalism Institute

The National Press Club Journalism Institute promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy. As the nonprofit affiliate of the National Press Club, the Institute powers journalism in the public interest.

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