Radio and Television Correspondents' Association

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The Radio and Television Correspondents Association (RTCA) is an American journalism group best known for holding an annual dinner in Washington, D.C.,[1] not to be confused with the higher profile White House Correspondents' Association Dinner.


The chair of the association for 2008-2009 was Heather Dahl of Feature Story News. The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer's Linda Scott served as 2009-2010 chair. Peter Slen of C-SPAN was elected as 2010-2011 chair. CNN's Jay McMichael was elected 2011-2012 chair as the first News Photographer to win the post. He was followed by fellow FOX News photographer John Wallace, III in 2012-2013. CNN's Lisa Desjardins is the current 2013-2014 chair.

RTCA Dinners[edit]

As is the case with the similar but more exclusive WHCA Dinner,[2] the attention given to the Association's activities are far outweighed by the focus on the dinner's guest list and pre-dinner receptions and post-dinner parties hosted by various media organizations.[2][3]

Also as is true of the WHCA Dinner and Gridiron Club Dinner, the RTCA Dinner has been subject to criticism that it encourages journalists to engage in undue coziness with the political officials they are supposed to fairly cover, and also that the public spectacle of "playing footsie" with reporters' main subjects is bringing the political press into disgrace.[4]

Notable RTCA dinners[edit]

In 1983, the RTCA compiled a videotape of various bloopers made in the news, and even music videos about the news, entitled "Tapes of Wrath". A sequel, "Tapes of Wrath II", followed in 1991. In 1996, speaker Don Imus made coarse jokes about President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, which White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry termed "tasteless". [5]

During the 2004 dinner, President George W. Bush mocked himself in a slideshow including images of him searching under furniture in the Oval Office for Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, which liberal commentator David Corn termed a "callous and arrogant display".[6]

In 2007, President George W. Bush attended the event for the third time,[1] and JibJab premiered its latest satiric animation, "What We Call The News."[7]

On Tuesday, June 16, 2009, president Barack Obama and humorist, author, and actor John Hodgman were the headline speakers at the 2009 RTCA Dinner "John Hodgman". Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. . At the dinner, JibJab premiered its animated video, "He's Barack Obama."

Brief timeline of recent dinners[edit]


  1. ^ a b Associated Press, A President walks into a journalists' dinner, March 29, 2007[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b Ana Marie Cox, Radio and Television Correspondents' Association Dinner, Time Magazine Swampland blog, March 29, 2007 Archived October 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ RTCA Field Report: Geraldo Came To Party,, March 29, 2007 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Hamilton Nolan, Joke is on the press at annual DC dinners, PRWeek, April 3, 2007 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "MIA WMDs-For Bush, It's a Joke". Archived from the original on 2013-03-25. 
  7. ^ "JibJab Debuts Video Lampooning News Media". Businesswire. March 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  8. ^ C-SPAN, 63rd Annual Radio and Television Correspondents' Association dinner, March 28, 2007, rtsp://
  9. ^ "Mike Allen, Rove Rap Sheet Brings Down House, The Politico, March 30, 2007". Archived from the original on 2013-05-30. 
  10. ^ "Wong's Comedian Performance". 
  11. ^ "Hasan Minhaj to Congress at RTCA Dinner 2016". 

See also[edit]