Ben Feller, White House Reporter for The Associated Press, has won the 23nd annual Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency. The $5,000 award recognizes journalists whose high standards for accuracy and substance help foster a better public understanding of the Presidency. The award was presented by Jack Ford, son of the late President Gerald R. Ford and Chairman of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, at a National Press Club luncheon on June 7, 2010. Following the presentation of the award, General Brent Scowcroft addressed the audience.
When announcing their decision to award Ben Feller the Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2009, the judges issued the following statement.
“In the first year of a notably newsworthy and often contentious new Presidency, Ben Feller of “The Associated Press” proved himself to be both a master of deadline reporting and an astute analyst of the meaning and significance of President Obama’s initiatives and actions.”
With singular enterprise, Feller broke the story of the President’s selection of Sonia Sotomayor for nomination to the Supreme Court and then set the tone for coverage of her confirmation by the Senate. In the diversity of Feller’s other articles the judges found that he portrayed a sense of President Obama’s character — reflecting in Africa his African heritage and honoring, in a midnight visit to Dover Air Force Base, the fallen soldiers who speak forever of the tragic cost of war. In all his stories Feller displayed insight and resourcefulness, and a quality of writing that was engaging, clear, and substantive on a tight deadline. The judges were unanimous in selecting Ben Feller as most deserving of the 2009 Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency.”
The judges for this year’s contest were:
Chair, James M. Cannon, former National Affairs Editor of Newsweek and former Assistant to President Ford for Domestic Policy; Tyne Vance Berlanga, Granddaughter of President Ford; Hal Bruno, retired Political Director of ABC News and formerly Chief Political Correspondent for Newsweek Magazine; Candice Nelson, associate professor of Government and Director of American University’s Campaign Management Institute; Gene Roberts, retired Philip Merrill College of Journalism Professor, University of Maryland and 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winner; Mark Rozell, professor of Public Policy at George Mason University.
This year’s winner:
Ben Feller covers the White House for The Associated Press. A reporter for 17 years, Feller began on the White House beat in November 2006. Working as part of the AP team based at the White House, Feller covers all facets of President Barack Obama’s agenda. He has traveled around the world to cover Presidents Bush and Obama and written about dozens of topics spanning foreign and domestic policy.
Feller won the Merriman Smith Award for print presidential coverage in 2010, presented by the White House Correspondents’ Association, for his coverage of President Obama’s surprise, late-night visit to Dover Air Force Base to honor the remains of soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Feller, 39, has been with the Washington bureau of the AP since January 2003, when he began covering national education. Over nearly four years, he wrote about the politics and policies of education and went into classrooms to write about trend stories, many of them tied to the No Child Left Behind Act.
In the 10 years before that, Feller wrote for The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Fla.; the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C.; and the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. His beats at those newspapers included politics, higher education, state government, transportation and crime.
Feller grew up in State College, Pa. and moved to Vestal, NY in his high school years. He returned to State College to attend Penn State University, where he graduated in 1992 with a degree in journalism. He now lives in Washington, D.C.
Founded in 1846, The Associated Press is the world’s oldest and largest newsgathering organization, providing content to more than 15,000 news outlets with a daily reach of 1 billion people around the world. Its multimedia services are distributed by satellite and the Internet to more than 120 nations.
The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation sponsors the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prizes for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency and Distinguished Reporting on National Defense to recognize and encourage thoughtful, insightful, and enterprising work by journalists covering the presidency and national defense. The Foundation is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation whose programs are supported entirely by contributions and bequests in an effort to honor President Ford’s sustained commitment to public service.
For more information about the annual prize or previous winners contact: Joe Calvaruso, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, 303 Pearl Street NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504-5353, (616) 254-0397, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at https://geraldrfordfoundation.org