From 2006 to 2012—spanning the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama—Ben Feller had a front row seat to history from one of the most coveted and influential positions in American journalism: chief White House correspondent for the Associated Press.
Feller, the winner of numerous awards for his work covering the presidency for the world’s largest newsgathering organization, will speak Thursday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. in Longwood University’s Blackwell Hall on "Covering the Presidency: An Inside Look, An Outside Perspective."
In his talk, Feller will offer a vivid, insider’s look at the White House beat and the two presidencies he covered. He will also share insights on today’s political and media environment from his perspectives as a journalist and more recently a communications strategist.
AP news content is viewed by half the world’s population on any given day, and its chief White House correspondent is traditionally a de facto leader of the White House press corps. He or she is given the first question at presidential news conferences and represents the entire media as a pool reporter when only one or a handful of reporters can follow the president. During his time at the White House, Feller flew aboard Air Force One to more than 25 foreign countries.
In 2010, Feller was twice honored for excellence in reporting on the presidency, winning the Gerald R. Ford Prize and the Merriman Smith Memorial Award, one of the most prestigious prizes in political journalism, for his coverage of Obama’s solemn, unannounced pre-dawn visit in 2009 to Dover Air Force Base to greet the remains of American soldiers returning in flag-draped caskets.
Feller, who began at the AP in 2003 as a national education writer, spent a decade covering Washington’s policies and politics. He also worked for three newspapers during his 20-year journalism career. A resident of New York City, he is now a managing director at the bipartisan public strategy firm Mercury, where he leads media strategy.
The talk, which is open to the public, is part of Longwood’s President’s Lecture Series.