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April Ryan

April Ryan

April Danielle Ryan (born September 5, 1967) is an American journalist and author. Since 1997, she has served as a White House correspondent and is the Washington, D.C., bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks.[1] In 2017, she joined CNN as a political analyst.[2] In May 2017, the National Association of Black Journalists named Ryan as the "Journalist of the Year".[3]

April Ryan
April Ryan 2019 (cropped).jpg
April Danielle Ryan

(1967-09-05)September 5, 1967
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
ResidenceBaltimore County, Maryland, U.S.
EducationMorgan State University
Notable credit(s)
American Urban Radio Networks


Ryan is a graduate of Morgan State University with a B.S. in broadcast journalism, and was awarded an honorary doctorate from her alma mater in 2017.[4] Ryan also holds an honorary doctorate from Claflin University. She began her media career as a jazz disc jockey before turning to reporting.[5]

Prior to working for the White House press corps, she worked for various radio stations, including North Carolina A&T University and WXYV-FM in Baltimore, Maryland, where she served as their news director.

Ryan has been a member of the White House press corps for American Urban Radio Networks since January 1997. She is a member of the National Press Club and is one of only three African Americans to have served on the board of the White House Correspondent's Association.[3]

As a White House correspondent, Ryan has covered four presidential administrations. Ryan has conducted one-on-one interviews with Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, George W. Bush, Laura Bush, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Thabo Mbeki, and John Kerry, among others.

Following the election of President Donald Trump, Ryan participated in exchanges with him and his press secretary Sean Spicer.[5] At a February press conference, when Trump began talking about "inner city places" and urban crime, she asked him if he planned to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). He responded by telling her to set up the meeting with them before asking, "Are they friends of yours?" Ryan responded that she was only a reporter and not a member of the CBC.[6][7][8] In March 2017, Spicer accused her of having an agenda when she asked about Trump's ties with Russia and then berated her for shaking her head. [9]

As one of the few African Americans in the White House press corps, Ryan frequently asks questions on issues concerning minorities and has made statements suggesting that she resents that other journalists do not ask such questions as often. She said in an interview in May 2017: "Why can't the dynamic of all people be in that room? Why can't it be? All people are covered under the White House. Am I correct? So I really dislike that, but I have no qualms with it. If you want to call me a black reporter, I am the black reporter who also asks other issues and questions on China, Russia, Syria, North Korea. So if you want to label me a black reporter, I take it with a badge of honor."[5] Explaining the utility of diversity in the White House press corps, Ryan says "I remember many years ago, George W. Bush said we need more minorities in there because you don’t hear a lot of the issues unless it’s coming from a person of a certain background. When you’re not at the table, you often don’t hear stories that are in your community."[10]

Ryan, whom The A.V. Club dubbed "stalwart and professional" in her approach, said on an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that the purpose of the press remains unchanged by the Trump administration's hostile attitude to the mainstream media. Ryan stressed that the journalists must "get accurate information, facts for the American public. It's not about us, it's about freedom of the press. It's about informing the masses."[7]

She joined CNN as a political analyst in 2017.[3]

Her first book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, was published in 2015 and won an NAACP Image Award. Her second book, At Mama's Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, was published in 2016. Her work has also appeared in Politico.[11] Her blog, Fabric of America, is devoted to minority issues and stories in the United States.[3]

Awards and honors

In May 2017, the National Association of Black Journalists named Ryan as the "Journalist of the Year".[12]

On July 11, 2019, she was inducted as an honorary member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.


At an April 2018 White House press conference, Ryan asked whether or not Trump has considered resigning, which drew the ire of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who called Ryan's question "absolutely ridiculous." Ryan said she subsequently received death threats and hired a bodyguard.[13]

Ryan gave the keynote speech at the NJ Parent Summit, held on August 3, 2019 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Before she began her speech, she ordered a local journalist, Charlie Kratovil of New Brunswick Today, to remove his camera, despite the presence of other press cameras recording the event. Kratovil refused, so Ryan, while at the lectern, talked to her bodyguard,[14] then told the crowd, "When I speak, I do not have news covering my speeches."[15] Her bodyguard, Joel Morris, violently ejected Kratovil; he was subsequently charged with harassment, assault and theft in connection with the incident.[16] In an August 25 interview, Ryan stated that she was unaware of the incident as it was happening, and that she "did not order anyone to do anything". She also said that Morris no longer worked for her.[17] Media critic Erik Wemple of The Washington Post criticized Ryan's explanation of the incident as "lame excuses".[15]

Personal life

Ryan was raised in Baltimore, where she lives with her two daughters, Ryan and Grace.[18][10] Her marriage to her husband Tennie James ended in divorce.[19]


Citation Linkwww.aurn.com"White House Report with April Ryan on AURN : American Urban Radio Networks". aurn.com. Archived from the original on March 9, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkthehill.comMaster, Cyra (April 3, 2017). "CNN signs April Ryan as political analyst".
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.baltimoresun.comZurawik, David (May 2, 2017). "April Ryan named NABJ journalist of the year". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.post-gazette.comSciullo, Maria (May 20, 2017). "April Ryan's wild ride in Washington". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.mcclatchydc.comOrdoñez, Franco; Douglas, William (May 12, 2017). "'Majority Minority podcast': April Ryan invites Donald Trump to dinner". McClatchy. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.cbsnews.comFlores, Reena (February 16, 2017). "Trump asks black reporter to "set up the meeting" with Congressional Black Caucus". CBS News. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.avclub.comPerkins, Dennis (May 26, 2017). "White House correspondent April Ryan tells Stephen Colbert why "fake news" is nonsense". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linknewsone.com"WATCH: Trump Awkwardly Assumes April Ryan Is 'Friends' With Congressional Black Caucus". News One. February 16, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.nytimes.comGrynbaum, Michael. "For April Ryan, Clashes With the White House Bring a New Kind of Prominence". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.thecut.comRyan, Lisa (March 20, 2018). "How I Get It Done: April Ryan, White House". The Cut. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.politico.com"Grading the Presidents on Race". Politico. March 1, 2015. Retrieved March 7, 2015.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkbaltimore.cbslocal.com"Baltimore Journalist, White House Correspondent April Ryan Honored". WJZ CBS. May 21, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.foxnews.comMikelionis, Lukas (2018-08-22). "CNN's April Ryan says Sarah Sanders 'stirred up' threats against her, should pay for Ryan's bodyguard". Fox News. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.eyesonnj.orgEdmunds, John (2019-08-10). "NJ JOURNALIST VIOLENTLY EJECTED FROM CHARTER SCHOOL CONFERENCE". #EyesOnNJ News. Retrieved 2019-08-10.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.washingtonpost.comWemple, Erik (August 26, 2019). "April Ryan's lame excuses". The Washington Post.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkwww.nj.com"CNN journalist April Ryan's bodyguard charged with assault for forcibly removing reporter from N.J. event". August 19, 2019.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkthehill.comChris Mills Rodrigo (August 25, 2019). "April Ryan: 'I did not order' journalist's removal". The Hill.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkchicagodefender.comDatcher, Mary L. (May 24, 2017). "April D. Ryan: Journalist, Mentor and Mother". The Chicago Defender. Retrieved 2019-01-15.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkopenlibrary.orgApril Ryan. At Mama's Knee. Rowman & Littlefield, 2016, p. 28.
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM
Citation Linkaprildryan.comOfficial website
Sep 24, 2019, 5:11 AM