National Press Club

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Making News Since 1932

Regular weekly luncheons for speakers began in 1932 and more heads of state and government appear at the National Press Club than any other forum in the world, outside the Oval Office. Speakers at NPC Luncheons are selected by a speakers committee under the direction of the Club president.

All speakers appear at the National Press Club without compensation or consideration of any kind. Speakers must pay for their own transportation and lodging. No stipend or other recompense is involved. The speaker pays no fees or other consideration to the National Press Club as a reimbursement for the privilege of speaking at this forum.

Who has spoken at the luncheon series in the past?
A broad range of speakers has appeared at the National Press Club. Speakers were invited almost as soon as the Club was formed in 1908 – the first recorded speaker was in 1910. A regularly scheduled program began in 1932.

Who is invited to speak at the luncheon series?
As outlined above, the selection of speakers for NPC luncheons is determined by a committee of club members. The committee meets once a month and discusses possible speakers, then sends invitations to those selected. Occasionally, suggestions from non-members are forwarded to the committee for evaluation. Such suggestions should be forwarded to staff member Melinda Cooke. Proposal should include a brief biography of the speaker, the proposed topic, and when the speaker would like to appear at the Club.

How can I get a speaker booked on the series?
There is no means of booking a speaker. The speakers committee will consider suggestions from outside sources for speakers (see above).

What criteria do you use to select speakers?
There are three major criteria the National Press Club uses in selecting speakers:

  • Newsworthiness – How relevant is the individual to the issues of the day.
  • National or international stature – How much influence does the individual have over current events in a particular sphere.
  • Exclusivity – To what degree has the individual already been available to the press.

Obviously, the more flexible speakers are on availability dates, the more likely they will be invited to speak. We also need to know some specifics about the topic a speaker wants to address.

Who can attend a luncheon?
The luncheons are open to anyone interested in listening to the speaker. Lunch is served during the event and 2014 prices are as follows:

  • Members (members may purchase two tickets at this price) $22.00
  • Students (with id) $21.00
  • General public $36.00

Tickets must be purchased at the time of your request to hold your reservation. No refunds after 48 hours before the scheduled event. Cancellations must be confirmed by the reservations manager or guests will be invoiced for full price of ticket.

How far in advance are Luncheon Speakers selected?
Usually Luncheon Speakers are selected and confirmed at least three weeks in advance of the event. This is the minimum time required to do adequate publicity. However, on very rare occasions and for breaking news that has international impact, luncheons have been organized in a few days.

What is the difference between the luncheon series and Newsmakers?
Generally, Luncheon Speakers are high-level decision-makers or extremely influential policy and trend-setters. These include heads of state, company executives, major figures in arts and entertainment personalities. Newsmakers are important individuals in their fields, but are also often responsible for the actual implementation of policy or have recently produced a major work in a particular field. Newsmakers speak to immediate issues on a very concrete level.

Where and when are the Luncheon Speakers broadcast?
Luncheon Speakers are broadcast on C-SPAN and are also available on press.org and select public radio stations. Check your local listings for specific broadcast times and dates.

How often do the luncheons take place?
The luncheons are scheduled according to speaker availability. Usually five to ten speakers attend luncheons each month.

How can I get a transcript or tape of a particular speaker?
Contact our archivist via phone 202-662-7598 or e-mail (archives@press.org) to get hard copies or rights to use transcripts or audio.

Newsmaker

The Newsmaker series has been an important part of Press Club life since at least 1973. These sessions, usually held before noon, give reporters access to decision-makers and program implementers from a broad spectrum of public life. The sessions are topical and are intended to give reporters hard news stories early in the day.

All speakers appear at the National Press Club without compensation or consideration of any kind. Speakers must pay for their own transportation and lodging. No stipend or other recompense is involved. The speaker pays no fees or other consideration to the National Press Club as a reimbursement for the privilege of speaking at this forum.

Who has spoken at the Newsmaker series in the past?
A broad range of speakers have appeared at the National Press Club. A list for the past several months is available.

Who is invited to speak at the Newsmaker series?
The Newsmakers provide a special venue for business leaders, diplomats and officials, including many visiting foreign diplomats and heads of state or government. The central idea of a Newsmaker is to present a speaker and topic currently in the news.

Who can attend a Newsmaker?
Any member of the media can attend.

When do Newsmakers take place?
Most Newsmakers occur before noon, but can be scheduled for any time of day. They are scheduled for one hour. Usually, the speaker is introduced, speaks and then takes questions. Newsmakers are on the record and for attribution.

Where and when are Newsmakers broadcast?
Newsmakers are not usually broadcast directly. Many news organizations will film or tape a Newsmaker and excerpts appear on nightly news programs or other broadcasts.

How often do the Newsmakers take place?
Newsmakers occur frequently throughout the year. Sometimes several take place each week.

How can I get a speaker booked on the series?
The Newsmaker Committee selects speakers for the program and - as with Luncheons - there is no booking per se. The Committee will accept proposals for Newsmakers by Fax at (202) 662 7569 or email. Please mark any correspondence clearly for the Newsmakers Committee.

What criteria do you use to select speakers?
Speakers must be newsworthy or speak to an issue that will generate news interest.

How can I get a transcript or tape of a particular speaker?
Audio recordings are available to members online - non-members may contact the NPC archives to purchase recordings.