Thomas Burr of The Salt Lake Tribune was elected Friday as president of the National Press Club, the world’s leading professional organization for journalists.
Burr, a Utahn who has served as a Washington correspondent for the Salt Lake City newspaper since 2005, will assume the presidency Jan. 15. He is a former president of the Regional Reporters Association and a past chairman of the Congressional Standing Committee of Correspondents.
A Jan. 23 inaugural gala is planned for the new president of the club, which was founded in 1908 and includes thousands of members worldwide.
Burr, 36, has been honored a record three times by the press club as the top regional reporter in Washington and is one of the youngest members of the exclusive Gridiron Club and Foundation.
“Journalists everywhere face continued challenges – from industry cutbacks to attacks on press freedoms, and in some tragic cases, incarceration or worse for writing the stories that need to be written – and there’s never been a more important time for the National Press Club to work on their behalf,” Burr said in his acceptance speech.
“The Press Club is an institution revered for its efforts to help our profession, and I’m honored to build on that reputation and ensure that we hold elected officials accountable, bolster our fellow journalists and ensure that when reporters face a government crackdown, that we’ll have their backs.”
The Salina, Utah, native first started writing for his hometown newspaper in his early teens and holds degrees from Snow College and Southern Utah University. He is the co-author, with Tribune colleague Matt Canham, of “Mormon Rivals: The Romneys, the Huntsmans and the Pursuit of Power,” published in 2015.
Also elected were: Jeff Ballou of Al-Jazeera as vice president; Andrea Edney of Bloomberg News as treasurer;Joseph Morton of the Omaha World-Herald as secretary; and Evan McMorris-Santoro of Buzzfeed News as membership secretary. Elected to the Board of Governors were: Ferdous Al-Faruque of The Gray Sheet, Mike Freedman of University of Maryland University College, Derek Wallbank of Bloomberg News and Ed Barks of Barks Communications.