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Essence Names First-Ever Washington Correspondent

obama_familyggessence.jpgAmidst all this talk of slashing DC bureaus at least one magazine is adding to theirs — or in this case creating it! Essence has just named award-winning journalist, Cynthia Gordy, their first-ever Washington correspondent. Per the release:

In this new role, Gordy will be responsible for developing and maintaining key relationships on behalf of Essence with the Obama administration, as well as the First Lady’s staff and cabinet level officers; covering issues of importance to the African-American community. As the brand’s Washington Correspondent, Gordy will generate features and report breaking news for both Essence magazine and essence.com; including a monthly column in the magazine and a daily ‘Obama Watch’ section online.

Full release after the jump.


(New York, NY) January 9, 2009 — Award-winning journalist, Cynthia Gordy, has been named the first-ever Washington Correspondent for ESSENCE, it was announced today by Angela Burt-Murray, Editor-in-Chief, ESSENCE. Previously serving as the News Editor for ESSENCE, she will continue to report to Tatsha Robertson, Deputy Editor, News for ESSENCE. In this new role, Gordy will be responsible for developing and maintaining key relationships on behalf of ESSENCE with the Obama administration, as well as the First Lady’s staff and cabinet level officers; covering issues of importance to the African-American community. As the brand’s Washington Correspondent, Gordy will generate features and report breaking news for both ESSENCE magazine and essence.com; including a monthly column in the magazine and a daily ‘Obama Watch’ section online.

“We are so excited to have Cynthia Gordy, one of our most talented and highly-regarded editors, take on this new and exciting challenge,” says Angela Burt-Murray, Editor-in-Chief, ESSENCE. “Given her extensive news experience, especially as it relates to coverage of the 2008 Presidential campaign, I am confident ESSENCE and its readership of over 8 million African-American women will be well represented at the White House.”

As a member of the ESSENCE editorial team since 2004, Gordy was most recently the News Editor for ESSENCE, during which time she covered the 2008 Presidential campaign and scored exclusive interviews with political leaders from both parties. Gordy followed the campaign from the primaries to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions through election day; culminating in live coverage of Obama’s victory rally in Chicago’s Grant Park.

Through the years, Cynthia has broken a number of enterprise stories: she got the first print interview with Nicole Paultre Bell; she was also the first print reporter to talk with Genarlow Wilson after he was released from jail. She nabbed one of the first interviews with Desiree Rogers, the incoming White House social secretary. Cynthia has won a number of national honors, including NABJ and NYABJ awards for her narrative about how environmental racism plagued one rural community. She was also honored for her spot report – ‘An American Tragedy: The Heartbreaking Death of Sean Bell,’ which won an NYABJ award.

Gordy has also reported and edited news on current events, international affairs, and a wide variety of social issues including criminal justice, domestic violence, HIV/AIDS in the Black community, police brutality, and hate crimes. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Non-fiction Writing and Africana Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and now resides in Harlem.

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