National Federation of Press Women
The National Federation of Press Women, (NFPW), is a dynamic US-based organization of professional women and men pursuing careers across the communications spectrum including electronic, broadcast and print journalism.
It was organized May 6, 1937, when Helen Miller Malloch and other members of the Illinois Woman's Press Association (IWPA organized in 1885), along with women from five other organized states and the District of Columbia, who met at the Chicago Women's Club in order to promote communication between women writers, and advance the interests and standards of women in the press. Among the 39 women attending were 24 from Illinois, six from Indiana, nine from Ohio, New York, Michigan, and Washington D.C.. Incorporation of the Federation was effected in 1938 in Illinois. By 1939 nine states had affiliated, including New York, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Texas, Oregon, and Michigan; and a New England press group. Of these new affiliates, the two oldest were Illinois (IWPA), 1885, and Texas, 1892 - the only two states organized prior to 1900.
Each year the NFPW sponsors competitions to reward excellence in communication. Winners are honored at the NFPW Annual Communications Contest Awards Banquet, which is held in September. The Federation's annual communications contest was established in 1940 during the presidency of Bertha I. Bless of Missouri. The presentation of honor award certificates to national winners and the announcement of the national sweepstakes winner remains a conference highlight. NFPW affiliates throughout the United States have annual communications contests that provide affiliate members an opportunity to compete against regional colleagues in a broad range of categories set by NFPW. All entrants to the national contest are required to be professional, student or retired members of NFPW. Where there is no state affiliate, the member is eligible to compete in the at-large contest.
NFPW High School Communications Contest honors excellence in student journalism. The only nationwide communications competition for high school students, the contest is endorsed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Dow Jones announces first-place winners and promotes the competition in its publication distributed to journalism advisers across the nation, giving students and their teachers/advisers local and nationwide recognition.
National attention is focused on the Federation by the selection each year of a National Communicator of Achievement, a professional communicator selected by nationally recognized judges from nominations by the various state affiliates. This program was established during the presidency of Velma Price of Nebraska, as the NFPW Woman of Achievement and the first award was made at the 1957 convention in San Antonio, Texas, with Helen Vanderburg of Iowa (past president) as first chairman. The first honoree was Charlotte Paul of Washington. The award was renamed Communicator of Achievement in 1989. Today, the Communicator of Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the National Federation of Press Women upon those members who have distinguished themselves within and beyond their profession.
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, the 1975 Woman of Achievement, was an author of 20 books, numerous short stories and essays about Native American life and culture, a member of the South Dakota affiliate, and the recipient of the National Medal of Humanities. The Medal of Humanities was presented by President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton on Dec. 20, 2000, at D.A.R. Constitution Hall in Washington DC.