For immediate release
January 21, 1998


NPR's veteran Capitol Hill correspondent Elizabeth Arnold has been named one of two winners of the 1997 Dirksen Award. The 1997 Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress by The Everett McKinley Dirksen Congressional Leadership Research Center will be presented to Arnold on February 3.

Arnold is one of the nation's most respected radio voices. She has been an NPR Washington Bureau National correspondent since 1991. She has been widely praised for her insightful and vivid reporting on the shift in power when Republicans consolidated their capture of Congress following the 1994 elections.

Arnold has also been a lead political reporter on NPR covering the 1992 and 1996 presidential campaigns, covering the candidacies of former President George Bush and later former Senator Bob Dole. Her work has extended beyond politics, as well, from coverage of the U.S.-Canadian salmon wars to a story about zoning a glacier in Alaska.

"We are very proud of Elizabeth's talents and achievements," said Michele DuBach, NPR Senior Washington Editor. "Her dedication and passion for her work are contagious and help give NPR its unique perspective on covering Congress."

The judges stated, "Arnold's stories not only impart information but interpret the implication Congressional actions have for listeners." Arnold's use of historical perspective was cited by all committee members as "distinguishing" and the committee also noted Arnold's use of humor "...which comes from irony rather than cynicism..."

Arnold is a former executive board member of the Senate Radio and Television Gallery, a 1994-95 winner of the duPont Columbia Silver Baton Award, and winner of the 1994 Joan Shorenstein Barone Award. She is also a founding member of the recently formed Committee of Concerned Journalists.

The Dirksen Awards were created in 1980 and are presented annually. They are designed to reward and encourage exceptional standards of reporting and appraisal of Congress and to foster a better understanding of the institution. The Dirksen Congressional Center is a private, nonpartisan, non-profit institution based in Pekin, Illinois. Through its educational and research programs it seeks to improve civic participation by promoting a better understanding of Congress and its leaders.

In receiving this honor, Arnold, along with fellow 1997 recipient Jackie Koszczuk of the Congressional Weekly Report, joins an impressive list of past winners including Helen Dewar, The Washington Post; John Dancy, "NBC News"; Cokie Roberts, National Public Radio; and Elaine Povich, The Chicago Tribune. The multiple winners were selected from both print and electronic media.

Renowned for broadcast excellence, NPR produces, acquires and distributes noncommercial news, information and entertainment programs that enhance and improve life's experiences for millions of people worldwide, with a network of 600 public radio member stations across the nation.

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