By Shayla Simmons
Over one year ago, Sandra Long Weaver agreed to advise The Meter, the student-run newspaper on the TSU campus. Beginning her legacy at TSU with only two students, she helped re-establish the newspaper read and loved by the student body. However even before stepping into her position as advisor, Long Weaver constructed an exceptional legacy and carved her mark in history.
Beginning in her college days at the University of Maryland, Long Weaver worked for the Black Explosion, a student-run newspaper serving the black community at the university. She served as a reporter and editor until her graduation in 1974, where she walked away with her B.S in Journalism.
Following graduation, Long Weaver worked for The Wilmington, DE News-Journal, then the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin and finally The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1984. Here she began as a news reporter but worked through the ranks, receiving promotion after promotion, until she became the first female African American Managing Editor for the publication.
Other titles she held during her long and fruitful journalism career included Deputy Managing editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2005 to 2007, Managing editor for the Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC and the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2007 to 2008 and, in 2008, Long Weaver was named the Vice President of newsroom operations for Philadelphia Media Holdings. Here she worked with both The Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News newsrooms.
While recently reminiscing about her experiences, from being a budding professional journalist to becoming a well-seasoned executive, Long Weaver talked about the uphill battle she faced.
As both a woman and an African American, she remembers having to prove herself time and time again in a career field that was largely dominated by white men. It was this that fueled her passion to assist and mentor young women much like herself to reach great heights in the field.
Even after retirement, Long Weaver began working with the Tennessee Tribune where she created the video project called “Take 10 on Tuesdays,” featuring prominent African American figures in the Nashville area.
Long Weaver also carries the impressive feat of being a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). She is one of 11 women who were part of the 44 founders of the 41-year-old organization.
Ada Taylor, the 2016-2017 Editor-in-Chief under her tutelage, says “We appreciate the fact that she pushes us, and recognize how lucky we are to have her.” With her accumulation of experience, Long Weaver seems to inspire the staff to produce the best possible content.