White House Correspondents’ Association to honor pioneering Black women journalists Alice Dunnigan and Ethel Payne

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The WHCA will present the “Dunnigan-Payne Prize” to the families of Dunnigan and Payne at this year’s White House Correspondents Dinner.

Left to right: White House correspondents Alice Dunnigan and Ethel Payne. (Photo: Kentucky Historical Society and Getty Images)

The White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) announced on Monday the creation of a lifetime achievement award in honor of two pioneering Black women journalists. 

The “Dunnigan-Payne Prize” will be presented to the families of the late White House reporters Alice Dunnigan and Ethel Payne at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner on April 30. The award will be presented by CBS anchor Gayle King.

Alice Dunnigan, who worked for the Associated Negro Press, was the first African-American female correspondent to receive White House credentials. Ethel Payne of the Chicago Defender was known as the “First Lady of the Black Press,” and her penchant for asking tough questions as a White House correspondent. Both journalists were two of only three African-American members of the White House Press Corps during the 1950s.

Read the full story here.

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