103rd Press Club President to Discuss Challenges Facing News Industry

Jan 27, 2010, 12:54 ET from National Press Club

Inaugural Gala for Alan Bjerga Will Feature Schieffer, Klobuchar, and Bennett, Jan. 30

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The newly-elected president of the National Press Club, Alan Bjerga of Bloomberg News, will address domestic and foreign issues facing journalists at a black-tie inaugural gala for the organization's 103rd president in Washington, D.C., Saturday, Jan. 30.

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"In a time when U.S. newsrooms are seeing radical change and journalists everywhere are working for press freedom, the National Press Club will be a leader in helping journalism meet its new challenges,'' Bjerga said.

Bjerga will address domestic issues in the news industry for working journalists in the current economy, including job insecurity, dwindling resources from news organizations, and technological change disrupting media business models.  He will also discuss international issues impacting journalism, such as hostility toward press freedom abroad and violence against journalists overseas.

Keynote speakers for the black-tie event will be U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) of Minnesota and Amanda Bennett, Bloomberg News Executive Editor.  Entertainment for the evening will be provided by the band "Honky Tonk Confidential," led by Bob Schieffer, host of CBS' "Face the Nation.''

Bjerga, 36, who covers agricultural policy for Bloomberg News has identified journalism training and support of free speech worldwide as central to his upcoming term.  The Minnesota native has served as the Press Club's vice president, treasurer, and as a member of its Board of Governors. Bjerga has received awards from the Overseas Press Club, the New York Press Club, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, and the North American Agricultural Journalists. Bjerga has worked in the Knight Ridder and McClatchy Washington bureaus and also reported for the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus Leader and the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle. He began his journalism career at the Saint Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press.

Sen. Klobuchar in 2006 became the first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the U. S. Senate, after serving as chief prosecutor of Minnesota's largest county. The Washington Post described Klobuchar as "a rising star," "a leading proponent of efforts to combat climate change."

Ms. Bennett in 2006 was named Executive Editor in charge at Bloomberg News, where she is now in charge of projects and investigations. She made history as the first female Executive Editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Prior to that, Bennett served as Editor at the Lexington Herald-Leader. She is also a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

DETAILS: A reception will begin at 6:30 p.m., with dinner at 7:30 p.m., remarks at 8:30 p.m., and entertainment following. The Press Club is located on the 13th floor of the Press Club Building, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C.  The public is invited to attend, and reservations are required. Tickets are $75 and may be purchased by calling 202-662-7501 or by e-mailing reservations@press.org

The National Press Club, the world's leading professional organization for journalists, was founded in 1908 and has an estimated 3,500 members worldwide. Recognized for its Speakers Luncheon Series, the NPC is Washington's most frequently used venue for news conferences. The NPC conducts an aggressive program of professional education for journalists, funds journalism scholarships, and operates the nation's only non-academic research library for journalists.

SOURCE National Press Club