About this Event
Clarissa Ward, CNN's multi-award winning chief international correspondent based in London, will receive the National Press Club’s most esteemed prize, the Fourth Estate Award, at a gala in her honor on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022.
Ward is the 50th recipient of the award, which recognizes journalists who have made significant contributions to the field.
The 2022 Fourth Estate Award Gala will take place at the National Press Club, with Ward joining us to accept her award. Guests in the Washington, D.C., area can join us in person for an elegant dinner and black-tie celebration in the ballroom of the National Press Club.
Doors will open at 6:30. Dinner and program will begin at 7:30 p.m. Ticket-holders will receive information and updates via email prior to the event.
The gala promises to be a special night to celebrate and support great journalism. Ward will be the 50th recipient of the Fourth Estate Award, which recognizes journalists who have made significant contributions to the field. Previous winners include Lester Holt, Susan Zirinsky, Marty Baron, Dean Baquet, Wolf Blitzer, Gwen Ifill, Andrea Mitchell, Amanda Bennett, Walter Cronkite, Christiane Amanpour, and many others.
The evening also will honor the winners of the John Aubuchon Press Freedom Awards, Rana Ayyub and Josh Renaud. Ayyub is an investigative journalist living in India and a Washington Post Global Opinions contributor. Her journalistic work and criticism of the Indian government has been met with an assault on her rights and freedom of expression. Renaud is a Missouri reporter who designs interactive journalism projects for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He was threatened by the Missouri governor with criminal charges for uncovering a security flaw in a state database.
The recipient of the 2022 Neil and Susan Sheehan Award for Investigative Journalism will also be recognized.
The fundraiser, attended by hundreds of journalists and media luminaries, raises a large portion of the operating expenses for the National Press Club Journalism Institute, the Club’s nonprofit affiliate. The Institute provides training, promotes an engaged global citizenry through an independent and free press, and equips journalists with skills and standards to inform the public in ways that inspire a more representative democracy.
About the gala
Tickets to the in-person gala at the National Press Club are:
- $150 for National Press Club members (maximum four per member)
- $300 for the public (no maximum)
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with dinner and the program starting at 7:30 p.m.
For information on sponsorship opportunities, please review this brochure or email Julie Moos, executive director of the National Press Club Journalism Institute, at [email protected]
COVID-19 Safety Guidelines
The National Press Club wants to ensure the evening is comfortable and safe. Proof of vaccination is required to enter the facility. All attendees should bring their COVID-19 vaccination card, or a photo of it on their mobile device, as this will be checked upon entry. We encourage everyone attending, if possible, to administer an at-home COVID-19 test before coming to the event. We will not ask to see a negative test at the door, but we believe this will give everyone additional peace of mind before enjoying an evening of delicious food, drinks and socializing. Masks are optional.
Getting to the National Press Club
The National Press Club is located at 529 14th St. NW, the entrance at the corner of F & 14th Streets NW, in downtown Washington. The club is upstairs on the 13th floor of the National Press Building.
About Clarissa Ward
Clarissa Ward is CNN’s multi-award winning chief international correspondent based in London.
She has spent nearly two decades reporting from front lines around the world from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Yemen to Ukraine and Georgia during the Russian incursion in 2008.
Named 2019 Reporter/Correspondent of the Year by the Gracies, she is the author of “On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist,” a memoir that details her singular career as a conflict reporter and how she has documented the violent remaking of the world from close range.
She is also a host of the limited series podcast from CNN Audio, “Tug of War.”
This year, Ward has spent more than 10 weeks in Ukraine covering the ongoing Russian invasion. She reported live from a subway station in Kharkiv as residents scrambled to find shelter as Russia’s assault unfolded. She witnessed residents fleeing Irpin across a destroyed bridge after several days of heavy bombardment. She visited Chernihiv after Russian forces left the city, finding residents reeling from weeks of being cut off from the rest of Ukraine. While shadowing paramedics in Kharkiv, Ward and her team were forced to run for safety after getting caught in active Russian shelling.
Last year, Ward reported from Afghanistan in the weeks leading up to the fall of Kabul, staying in the country for several days after the Taliban took control of the capital city. She got exclusive access to an Afghan base in Kandahar days before it was taken by the Taliban and also interviewed the Taliban at a former US military base in Ghazni province after it had been seized.
Her extensive reporting from the streets of Kabul after the Taliban took control showed the chaos and fear that ensued, including chaotic scenes outside the city’s airport as Taliban fighters blocked access to people trying to flee the country. Days before Kabul fell, Ward also interviewed a senior ISIS-K commander about the terrorist group’s plans in Afghanistan. After the interview, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the deadly attack outside the Kabul airport.
Ward, senior field producer Brent Swails, and photojournalists William Bonnett and Scott McWhinnie recently were recognized with the 2021 George Polk Award for Foreign Television Reporting for the reporting on the fall of Afghanistan.
Nearly two months after the February 2021 military coup in Myanmar, Ward and her team were the first foreign journalists permitted to enter the Southeast Asian nation. While there, she reported on the widespread military crackdown and confronted Myanmar’s military junta about the violent suppression of protests taking place in the country.
And as India experienced a deadly second wave of coronavirus, Ward traveled across the country to cover the unfolding crisis. Reporting from an understaffed Covid-19 ward in Uttar Pradesh and overwhelmed crematoriums in Delhi and the holy city of Varanasi, Ward was one of three CNN correspondents in India covering the rampant spread of the deadly virus.
Ward was also part of CNN’s coverage of U.S. President Joe Biden’s first overseas trip as president, traveling to Geneva for Biden’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin and covering the G7 summit in England, where she interviewed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In late 2020, Ward investigated the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, uncovering new evidence identifying the Russian security services who trailed Navalny for more than 30 trips over the course of three years. As part of this joint investigation with Bellingcat, Ward interviewed Navalny at an undisclosed location in Germany – even showing him photographs of the agents who tracked him – and confronted a suspected member of the elite toxins team at his home outside Moscow. Ward and CNN were recognized with two 2021 Emmy Awards for their investigation with Bellingcat.
Ward also investigated Russian trolls operating in the west African nations of Ghana and Nigeria to stoke racial tensions and stir up social unrest in the U.S. For this months-long investigation, she traveled to one of the operation's headquarters in Ghana, where she interviewed one of the trolls and tracked down the person running the operation, a Ghanaian who lives in Russia. This reporting on “Russia’s secret influence campaigns” was named a finalist of the 2021 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award.
She also has contributed to CNN's breaking news coverage of the Russia-Ukraine tensions; the Covid-19 pandemic; the crisis between the U.S. and Iran in early 2020, tracking the story from the US, Iraq — including the site of an Iranian missile attack — and Ukraine with every major development. When Turkey launched a military operation targeting America’s Kurdish partners in northern Syria in 2019, Ward was on the ground in Syria covering the chaos of civilians fleeing their homes amid military strikes. Her reporting on the Turkish incursion helped earn the network a 2020 Emmy Award in the Outstanding Breaking News Coverage category.
In 2019, Ward investigated Russia’s use of mercenaries in a two-part series for CNN, “Putin’s Private Army.” For this months-long, Emmy Award-winning investigation, Ward secured the first on-camera interview with a former fighter for Wagner – Russia’s most notorious private military contractor. She traveled to the Central African Republic to look at growing Russian mercenary activity on the continent. After visiting a diamond mine with ties to a Russian oligarch, Ward and her team were followed and intimidated by a car full of Russians. After their reports came out, they were targeted by a Russian media propaganda campaign trying to discredit their reporting.
This followed Ward gaining unprecedented access to Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan for an exclusive report, “36 Hours with the Taliban.” Ward and CNN field producer Salma Abdelaziz spent time at a local madrasa, where dozens of children — boys and girls — pored over their Qurans, and a Taliban-run clinic in the village of Pashma Qala.
In 2018, she reported extensively on the M**der of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, even obtaining exclusive footage that showed a Saudi operative posing as Khashoggi in an attempt to cover up the killing. That report on Khashoggi’s body double was recognized with a Golden Nymph from the Monte Carlo Television Festival in 2019, and CNN’s overall coverage of Khashoggi’s M**der was recognized with a prestigious 2020 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award.
Ward also fronted “Shadow Over Europe,” a CNN investigation into the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe in 2018, traveling to Poland, Germany and France to see how these countries were tackling this rise of anti-Semitic incidents and stereotypes. “Shadow Over Europe” was recognized with a 2019 Edward R. Murrow Award in the News Series category for television networks.
She has won multiple awards for her reporting: two George Foster Peabody Awards; two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards; nine Emmy Awards; two Edward R. Murrow Awards for distinguished journalism; honors from the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association; the 2017 David Kaplan Award from the Overseas Press Club; and a George Polk Award.
In 2021, she was also recognized with the Ted Sorensen Award from Network 20/20 in recognition for “adeptly crafting the first draft of history and providing original insight into the people and events of our time.”
In 2016, she received the prestigious Excellence in International Reporting Award from the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) for her outstanding war reporting in hotspots like Iraq and Syria.
In early 2016, Ward traveled undercover to rebel-held areas in Syria — where almost no Western journalists had visited in over a year — to report on what life was like there under the Russian and regime bombardment. Less than 24 hours after arriving, Ward witnessed an airstrike on a fruit market that left 11 dead. The entire “Undercover in Syria” series of exclusive, award-winning reports from behind rebel lines can be found here. To date, “Undercover in Syria” has been recognized with a Peabody Award, an Edward R. Murrow Award for News Series, and the Overseas Press Club’s David Kaplan Award.
As one of the last Western reporters to visit rebel-held Aleppo, Ward was asked to address a UN Security Council meeting on the embattled Syrian city in August 2016, stating, “there are no winners in Aleppo.”
Ward joined CNN in 2015 from CBS News, where she served as a foreign correspondent for four years and contributed regularly to “60 Minutes.”
On an undercover assignment to Syria in 2014, she interviewed two Western fighters about why they joined the jihad there. One of the jihadists was a young Somali-American from the Midwest, making Ward the only Western journalist to have interviewed an American jihadist fighter inside Syria since the start of the civil war.
While at CBS, Ward interviewed world leaders like U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2012 and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in 2013, challenging them both on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown inside Syria.
Before joining CBS, Ward spent two years in Moscow and two years in Beijing for ABC News. She covered the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the 2008 global food crisis, where her coverage received an Emmy Award for Business and Financial Reporting.
Prior to ABC News, Ward was based in the Middle East for Fox News Channel, covering the execution of Saddam Hussein and other key stories in the regions in addition to interviewing notable figures like Gen. David Petraeus and Lebanese President Emile Lahoud.
Ward's career in journalism started in 2002 as an intern at CNN's Moscow bureau. She has since been based in Baghdad, Beijing, Beirut, Moscow, New York, and London.
Ward speaks fluent French and Italian, conversational Russian, Arabic, and Spanish and basic Mandarin. She graduated with distinction from Yale University and in 2013 received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Middlebury College in Vermont.
Follow Clarissa on Twitter: @ClarissaWard.
National Press Club, 529 14th Street Northwest, Washington, United States
USD 0.00 to USD 300.00