Scripps National Spelling Bee Administers Politicians vs. Press Event

Tue, October 20, 2015 by Valerie Miller

CINCINNATI – The Scripps National Spelling Bee returns to the nation’s capital this week to administer a spelling competition. The spellers in this contest are very different from the middle school children who descend upon Washington, D.C. every May. This time, members of Congress will go up against members of the news media in the “Politicians vs. Press” event hosted by the National Press Club on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. ET.

For the politicians’ team, participants include Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., Rep. Brad Ashford, D-Neb and Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Az. The team attempting to win for journalists includes Angela Greiling Keane of Bloomberg News, David Kerley of ABC News, Rebecca Sinderbrand of The Washington Post, Yochi Dreazen of Foreign Policy, Rod Kuckro of E&E News and Amy Ellis Nutt of The Washington Post.

“The Scripps National Spelling Bee is proud to be administering this competition for the National Press Club,” said Paige Kimble, executive director of the Scripps National Spelling Bee. “As the world’s leading authority on spelling bees, it is fitting for us to partner with an organization that respects and values its traditions as much as we do. We take our spelling seriously, but we also recognize this event as an opportunity to raise money for a worthy cause and a chance for two high-profile groups to show off their mastery of words under the pressures of onstage spelling.”

The event includes a competition for individual supremacy and one for team domination. In 2013, Sen. Kaine won the title of "The Best Speller in the United States.” The journalists won the team competition by edging out the politicians with a score of 38-36. In this contest, a correct spelling yields a point for the speller’s team. It also forgives a mistake. Spellers will be eliminated after their second misspelling. During a round, teams will alternate in sending spellers to the microphone in speller number order. The team with the most points at the end will be declared Team Champion. When there is one lone speller remaining, he or she must spell the word correctly in that round and then spell a second word correctly in the final one-word round to be declared Champion.

The event, sponsored by Discovery Communications, is a continuation of a tradition started back in 1913, when the National Press Club held a spelling bee pitting elected officials against news reporters. President Woodrow Wilson and members of his Cabinet were among the 1,000 people who showed up to watch a representative from Ohio win.


National Press Club event Page Two

The audience will be entertained by more than just the spellers. The event will kick off with a performance by comedian Tim Young and an after-party featuring cover band White Ford Bronco. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Press Club’s Journalism Institute, which offers innovative, practical training to journalists and communications professionals working in a rapidly changing media environment.

Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members. You can order tickets here or purchase them with a credit card at the door until 7:30 p.m. the night of the event. The National Press Club is located at 529 14th St. NW, 13th floor, Washington, D.C. 20045

Join the conversation @ScrippsBee, @PressClubDC and #NPCBee.

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