In a statement posted to its official Twitter account, CNN announced that it will be inviting journalism students instead of celebrities to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year.
“Once again, our employees — on camera and behind the scenes — will attend the association’s annual dinner on April 29,” the statement read. “This year, our guests will be journalism students.”
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 28, 2017
Media outlets sometimes invite celebrities as special guests to attend the dinner.
“We feel there is no better way to underscore our commitment to the health and longevity of a free press than to celebrate its future. We stand with the WHCA 100 percent and look forward to being a part of an evening dedicated to funding scholarships and honoring great journalism.”
This past Sunday, President Trump announced that he won’t be attending the event, making it the first time since Reagan that a president has declined to attend (Reagan couldn’t attend due to the fact that he was recovering from a gunshot wound from a failed assassination attempt).
I will not be attending the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner this year. Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2017
Vanity Fair and The New Yorker are the only major media outlets boycotting the event.