OLD Media Moves

Why the Washington Post hired Michelle Singletary

September 18, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Michelle Singletary

Washington Post personal finance columnist Michelle Singletary writes about the conversation she had with business editor David Vise, who hired her in 1992.

Singletary writes, “When I was first hired at The Washington Post, I found I had to repeatedly explain my qualifications to colleagues. So after one staff meeting, I went to the business editor, David Vise, and asked him directly whether he hired me because I was Black.

“‘Yes, I hired you because you are Black,’ he said.

“By then, I had eight years of full-time work experience, but I was still considered a young hire for the business section. Vise, who won the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1990, had recruited me after hearing me speak on a panel about business beat reporting at the annual summer convention for the National Association of Black Journalists. Five months later, I was at The Post.

“Vise invited me into his office to continue the conversation in private.

“He closed the door and gestured for me to take a seat on the couch.

“This was in 1992, and I was 29 years old.

“I heard Vise talking, but I couldn’t focus on what he was saying. I was inside my own head.

“‘So, the newsroom colleagues probing how I came to get the job so fast were right after all,’ I told myself.

“Fighting back tears, I eventually tuned in to Vise as he explained his answer.

“‘I also hired you because you’re a woman,’ he said. ‘I hired you because you come from a low-income background and, most importantly, because you are a good reporter. I also hired you because you have enormous potential and I want to mentor you.'”

Read more here.

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