Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress
Deirdre K. Walsh and Dana Bash 2012
CNNDeirdre K. Walsh
Deirdre Walsh is a Senior Congressional Producer for CNN. She joined CNN's Capitol Hill unit in 2005, and primarily covers the House of Representatives.
Walsh is an off air reporter and contributes to newsgathering efforts for multiple CNN broadcast networks, including CNN, CNN International, and Headline News. She also regularly files stories for CNN.com and the "political ticker," the popular blog on CNN.com's political page.
Prior to covering Capitol Hill, Walsh served as a producer for "Judy Woodruff's Inside Politics" from 2000-2005. "Inside Politics" was the first cable program exclusively dedicated to reporting on political news. In her twelve years at CNN, Walsh has covered major news stories including: four presidential campaigns, several midterm elections, Congress' handling of the 2008 financial crisis, and lengthy negotiations over health care reform, the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, and the Shuttle Columbia disaster.
From 2006-2009 Walsh served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Radio and Television Correspondents' Association, which helps coordinate broadcast coverage of Capitol Hill with leadership of the House and Senate.
Walsh was elected in August 2012 as a member of the Board of Directors for the Washington Press Club Foundation.
Walsh received a B.A. in Political Science/Communications from Boston College. She lives in Falls Church, Virginia with her husband and daughter.
Dana Bash is CNN’s senior congressional correspondent, responsible for covering the activities of both the U.S. House and Senate. Bash contributed to America’s Choice 2012 election coverage, reporting from inside voting centers and interviewing presidential GOP contenders on the campaign trail. Bash was credited with pressing now former Rep. Anthony Weiner of N.Y. for the truth about his texting scandal, which lead to the Congressman’s resignation. In 2010, Bash earned the prestigious Everett McKinley Dirksen for Distinguished Reporting of Congress Award from the National Press Foundation for her reporting on Congressional earmarks and senatorial “holds.” Named to this position in December 2008 and based in the network’s Washington, D.C. bureau, Bash has covered the U.S. Congress for CNN since March 2006.
As a member of the Peabody Award-winning team for the network’s America Votes 2008 coverage, Bash covered the candidates on the trail and interviewed the Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on numerous occasions. During the course of the long primary campaign, Bash also interviewed the major Republican contenders and broke a number of stories, including Gov. Mitt Romney’s decision to suspend his campaign.
Prior to covering Congress and the 2008 campaign, Bash reported as CNN’s White House correspondent from the nation’s capital and from various locations around the world during President George W. Bush’s administration. Bash has reported on major stories including Hurricane Katrina, the CIA leak investigation, and the capture of Saddam Hussein. She was instrumental in CNN’s 2006 mid-term election coverage and the 2004 presidential campaign, which she covered from start to finish.
Bash has extensive experience covering Congress. Prior to her on-air position with the White House unit, Bash was the Capitol Hill producer for CNN, where she had primary editorial and newsgathering responsibility for the network's coverage of the U.S. Senate. She covered every major story on Capitol Hill, including the Republican dominance in the 2002 elections, the war on terrorism, campaign finance reform, the Florida recount and the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton. Frequently cited on-air by anchors and reporters, she also provided live reporting during the evacuation of the Capitol in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Bash was one of the first journalists to report that Vermont’s Sen. Jim Jeffords would leave the Republican Party in May 2001, giving control of the U.S. Senate to Democrats. In 2002, she broke the story of the government's secret intercepts of Al Qaeda translations on Sept. 10, 2001, for which received her first Everett McKinley Dirksen for Distinguished Reporting of Congress Award from the National Press Foundation.
In 2000, she covered the presidential primaries, including those in Iowa and New Hampshire, traveling extensively with former Vice President Al Gore, Sen. Bill Bradley and other presidential candidates. She also helped coordinate coverage for both the Republican and Democratic vice presidential selections.
Previously, Bash was an editor in CNN's Washington bureau, where she helped plan and coordinate the network's coverage of Capitol Hill, the State Department and key issues such as Medicare and Social Security. Bash also served as a producer on the network's public affairs shows, including Late Edition with Frank Sesno, Evans & Novak and Inside Politics Weekend with Wolf Blitzer, producing long-form live interviews with heads of state, lawmakers and other newsmakers.
Bash graduated cum laude with her bachelor’s degree in political communications from The George Washington University.