Lederman story on White House fence-jumper wins prestigious award

AP White House reporter and Guild member Josh Lederman has won the prestigious Merriman Smith Memorial Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association for his deadline story about a fence-jumper at the White House.

“Lederman was also resourceful enough to use social media to locate an official source for comment on a Friday night, when official Washington normally rolls up the sidewalks, to confirm his hunch that the breach was more serious than it was being portrayed,” the judges said. “Lederman’s quick thinking and ability to turn around a story with nuance in a short time frame made this report stand out.”

AP White House reporter Josh Lederman

AP White House reporter Josh Lederman

He’ ll accept his award on April 25, at the WHCA’s annual dinner in Washington.

Lederman was one of the few reporters still working at the White House at 8 p.m. on Sept.19, 2014, when he heard Secret Service agents shouting that the building was lockdown.

He rushed to the press office, where agents soon arrived to evacuate people to a basement. After being led into the street, Lederman wrote a brief story that moved at 8:17 p.m. And he kept reporting.

Lederman, 29, has been on the White House beat since 2013.