By Amanda Becker
WASHINGTON, March 23 (Reuters) - Likely U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made light of her sometimes contentious relationship with the press during an appearance at a journalism awards ceremony Monday night.
"My relationship with the press has been at times, shall we say, complicated," Clinton said at a dinner celebrating the award of Syracuse University's Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting.
"So I thought to myself what could possibly go wrong," Clinton added, referencing the large number of political reporters in attendance.
It was Clinton's second public appearance in Washington on Monday. Earlier in the day, she was on a panel at the left-leaning Center for American Progress to discuss urban renewal. She also met privately with President Barack Obama.
Clinton, a former first lady and secretary of state, has not formally launched a presidential campaign. An announcement is anticipated as early as next month. Nevertheless, Clinton is the presumed front runner to become the Democratic nominee ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November 2016.
Recent news reports about Clinton's use of her personal email address and server during her State Department tenure, as well as her family foundation's acceptance and disclosure of foreign money, prompted a rare press conference earlier this month at the United Nations in New York.
Clinton, referencing past media coverage, said at Monday's dinner that she was embracing new beginnings - whether it was a new grandchild, a new hairstyle, a new email account or new relationship with the press.
"No more secrecy, no more zone of privacy - after all what good did that do me," Clinton said to laughter.
There are non-disclosure agreements crafted by her lawyers underneath everyone's chairs, Clinton quipped.
The annual Toner award commemorates the work of the late New York Times correspondent Robin Toner. The Washington Post's Dan Balz won this year's award. (Reporting By Amanda Becker in Washington; Editing by Bernard Orr)