Political Science Now

Jake Tapper Wins 2017 Carey McWilliams Award

Jake Tapper, CNN Chief Washington correspondent and anchor of The Lead and State of the Union


Recognizing excellence in the profession is one of the most important roles of the American Political Science Association. Through the service of member committees who review nominations, the Association makes awards for the best dissertations, papers and articles, and books in the various subfields of the discipline, and for career achievement in research, teaching and service to the discipline. These awards are presented at the APSA Annual Meeting.

The Carey McWilliams Award is given annually to honor a major journalistic contribution to our understanding of politics. Eligible candidates must meet the criteria laid forth by the first organizing committee. The individual chosen:


Elite partisan politics in the U.S. is increasingly contentious, highlighting the importance of critical journalism as well as the challenges that serious, dedicated journalists face.

CNN Chief Washington correspondent and anchor, Jake Tapper, has worked as a journalist in the Washington D.C. area for more than 15 years. He joined CNN in 2013, and currently hosts The Lead with Jake Tapper, and CNN’s Sunday show, State of the Union.

Before joining CNN, Tapper was Senior White House Correspondent for ABC news.  During his nearly ten-year stint at ABC, Tapper was central to ABC’s award winning national and international political coverage. Before ABC he worked as Washington and National correspondent for Salon.com. His reporting has also appeared in prestigious outlets such as The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and The Weekly Standard.

Tapper is widely respected for the work he’s done in Washington over the last 15 years, but most recently he attracted praise for his reporting during the 2016 presidential election.  Tapper’s political expertise was central to CNN’s 2016 election coverage throughout the campaign season as well as on election night, and he moderated two Presidential Primary debates. His work during the 2016 election earned several journalism awards, including a 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism, The Los Angeles Press Club’s Presidents Award for Impact on Media, the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s Tribute to Exemplary Journalism, and the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Merriman Smite Award for Presidential Coverage, which he won on three separate occasions.

During the first several months of the Trump Administration, Tapper has continued to rigorously cover national and presidential politics through tough and revealing interviews with top White House officials and other political elites.

In his commitment to tough but objective reporting on national politics, Tapper’s work continues to make an enormous contribution to the public’s understanding of presidential politics. His accomplishments are especially worthy of attention in a digital era characterized by partisan media, active audiences with ample outlets from which to choose, and politicians’ tendencies to demonize the press in response to unfavorable coverage.

APSA Awards are made possible through the service of member committees that select a winner. We wish to thank the 2017 Carey McWilliams Award Committee for their support: Johanna Dunaway, chair (Texas A&M University), Matt Baum (Harvard Kennedy School) and Claes de Vreese (University of Amsterdam).

The Carey McWilliams Award is made possible through contributions from generous APSA members and friends of the association. To make a donation to the Carey McWilliams Award, click here