Bill Alberter and David Burnett Selected as 2024 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 2, 2024) – The White House News Photographers Association® announced that they will present Bill Alberter, a video photographer with CNN, and legendary still photographer David Burnett with the association’s Lifetime Achievement honor at the 2024 ‘Eyes of History®’ annual awards gala on June 1, 2024.

After learning about his selection from WHNPA president, Jessica Koscielniak, Alberter said, “I am truly honored and humbled by this recognition from the WHNPA. It’s hard to believe that I’ve spent a lifetime doing something that I love for my career. I have had the privilege of working in Washington with some of the most talented photojournalists in the industry.”

Alberter has been a member of the WHNPA for over 32 years and has covered every president since Bill Clinton and worked with every CNN White House correspondent since Wolf Blitzer. Alberter has been assigned to everything over his career from the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier documenting the testing of new aircraft launching and landing on its deck. He said that “working with the talented men and women of the Navy was a privilege. Seeing them in action was truly amazing.” The 2019 World Series featured his favorite baseball team – the Washington Nationals! He added, “Being able to do the job I love covering the baseball team I love was a combination I could never have dreamed of doing.” His colleague Burke Buckhorn added, “There’s a special place in my heart for that guy. He is just an all-around consummate professional.”

Burnett has been an internationally acclaimed photojournalist for seven decades, joining the WHNPA in 1985. He has contracted with LIFE, TIME and People Magazine and continues to work for a variety of magazines in the U.S. and Europe. Burnett has photographed every American president since John F. Kennedy and covered every Summer Olympic Games since 1984 in Los Angeles. Burnett is the author of two large-format photography books “Soul Rebel – An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley” and “44 Days: Iran and the Remaking of the World.” In 2016 he published “Man Without Gravity,” a collection of his sports photography.

Burnett said, “as someone whose professional career began 57 years ago as a TIME Magazine DC Bureau photo-intern, and who had the joy of meeting, and learning from, such photo luminaries as George Tames, Wally Bennett, Don Carl Steffen, Fred Ward, and Wally McNamee, it is with profound gratitude and appreciation to be acknowledged.” Burnett added, “I was lucky enough to work in that wonderful era of photojournalism where we were encouraged to pursue ideas and stories, and which was still rich with places for the work to be seen. From the first day, in July 1967, that I entered the White House, till today, I feel a sense of privilege and honor every time I walk through the Northwest Gate, a reminder of the special place we photographers hold in history. “

Jessica Koscielniak, WHNPA president, commented about this year’s double honorees, sharing, “Historically, the Lifetime Award Winner has alternated between photo and video division each year. The board reviewed all the members who qualified for the honor and realized we need to reevaluate how the award was distributed. At that time, a motion was made to honor one individual from both video and photo moving forward to create equity around our most distinguished prize. It was adopted unanimously!”

“I am thrilled to announce this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Both Bill and David are masters of our industry and so deserving of the honor. They are admired by their peers. They are respected for their work and commitment to their craft. The impact of their work has gone beyond our industry, they have dutifully informed the world with their journalism.”

The top winners of the still, video, digital and student contests will be honored at the annual ‘Eyes of History®’ gala on June 1, 2024, in Washington. The black-tie event celebrates all the winning visual journalists.

The White House News Photographers Association is a 103-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the efforts of Washington’s professional visual journalists. The WHNPA aims to provide professional and educational outreach to its members and the community through scholarships, programming, an annual competition, and a celebration of the industry at the annual ‘Eyes of History®’ gala.

For more information, please contact Jessica Koscielniak at [email protected] (219-688-3043) or Executive Director Heidi Elswick at [email protected] (301-606-8251). For further information about ‘The Eyes of History®’ and to view the winning images and videos, visit the WHNPA website at

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