Former ABC News Weekend anchor Carole Simpson has had a wide range of obstacles and victories throughout her illustrious career, many of which she recounted in her memoir “NewsLady.”
But Simpson felt compelled to update the book after hearing that many young black journalists are running into many of the same racist and sexists incidents she faced in her four decade-long career in broadcast journalism.
One of the more devastating revelations, previously unpublished, was that white men were not always the source of her problems. She faced animosity, sexism and racism from women and black colleagues as well.
“There are some controversial aspects to this new version,” Simpson said in a news release announcing the updated memoir. “I talk about the ‘dirty little secret’ in black America. We are prejudiced against each other.”
Simpson was the first black woman to work in NBC’s Washington bureau and was an Emmy-winning correspondent for ABC News. She covered a wide range of topics from natural disasters, foreign affairs and political reporting, including presidential nominating conventions and covering candidates, as well as anchoring the weekend newscasts. In 1992, she was the first black journalist to moderate a presidential debate.
Right up to the end of her daily broadcasting career, Simpson wrote, she had to fend off racist and sexist remarks. But she continued to encourage aspiring young black journalists, funding several scholarships with the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTNDA).
Her honors include induction into the NABJ Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement award from the New York Association of Black Journalists and the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award in recognition of Simpson’s work to protect First Amendment freedoms.
In 2006, Simpson retired from ABC News and joined the School of Communications at Emerson College in Boston as a Leader-in-Residence, where she is a full-time journalism faculty member and writing coach. Simpson also maintains a blog and website, called Think About It at www.carolesimpson.com.
The re-release of NewsLady expands on the behind-the-scenes look at Simpson’s life. In addition to painting a portrait of the race and gender difficulties she faced while building her career, she also reflects on the rise and fall of the late Max Robinson, the first African-American to anchor a major nightly newscast, and an ABC colleague.
“This really may be one of the few things written about Max Robinson since his death,” of AIDS at age 49, Simpson said in the news release.
“I recount events in this book that show how many tried and how many succeeded in doing me harm,” Simpson said. “But before, during and after my television career, I was able to overcome and prospered. I was blessed.”