Eugene Harold Robinson – Journalist. (An Appreciation)
As I believe many on this site do, I love journalist Eugene Harold Robinson, presently a respected columnist at the Washington Post’s opinion pages and ranked by some as “one of America’s most distinguished journalists.”
Robinson, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, has been a journalist at The Washington Post for more than 30 years, part of a life that has taken him “from childhood in the segregated South—on what they called the ‘colored’ side of the tracks—to the heights of American journalism,” including winning the coveted 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.
I devour almost every column written by Robinson and appreciate The Moderate Voice’s regular reprinting of his columns.
Many of the reasons why I like and admire Robinson’s journalism can be found in The News Manual’s “A Professional Resource for Journalists and the Media.”
In answer to the question, “What is a Journalist?” and after describing some of the jobs journalists do (reporters, editors, feature writers, etc.), the piece lists some of the reasons people want to become journalists. Among them:
• The desire to write
• The desire to influence for good
• The desire for knowledge
Under “What does it take?” the article summarizes:
There are many reasons for becoming a journalist and several kinds of journalists. It is a career with many challenges and rewards.
Have an interest in the world around them.
Have an alert and ordered mind.
Be able to approach and question people.
Be polite but persistent.
Be friendly and reliable.
From what I have read, heard and seen, Mr. Robinson fits these qualities of a “journalist” to a “T” and fully deserves the following accolade:
In his three decades at The Washington Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper’s award winning Style section. He has written books about race in Brazil and music in Cuba, covered a heavyweight championship fight, witnessed riots in Philadelphia and a murder trial in the deepest Amazon, sat with Presidents and Dictators and the Queen of England, thrusted and parried with hair-proud politicians from sea to shining sea, handicapped three editions of American Idol, acquired fluent Spanish and passable Portuguese and even, thanks to his two sons, come to an uneasy truce with hip-hop culture.
Of course, in addition to his opinion columns, Robinson is well-known for his participation in clearly-so-labeled political panels, analyses, radio and TV shows — activities that have earned him “both fans and brazen critics,” including claims that he is not a journalist.
Good enough reason for this non-jourmalist to come to Mr. Robinson’s defense.
Not that he needs it. His record speaks for itself.
Please read more about this amazing Journalist here.