Monica Richardson is the executive editor of a major American daily newspaper. She is a veteran newsroom leader and a Pulitzer Prize winner. And she is a child of Charlottesville.
“I was that kid that made summer trips to Charlottesville to spend the summers with grandparents and aunts and uncles,” she says. “When I come home, I’m not the editor of the Miami Herald. I’m Monica, you know, who grew up here.”
Richardson got her start at the Culpeper Star-Exponent and the Charlottesville Observer, and went on to positions at the Lexington Herald-Leader in Kentucky and spent 15 years at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before becoming executive editor of the Miami Herald in January 2021.
In June, I spent some time talking with Richardson about her journey. I am not a child of Charlottesville, but I’m the editor-in-chief of Charlottesville Tomorrow. I’m from Los Angeles by way of Canada, and have lived in a dozen cities. My career began in international news, then national news and public media and now I am here, living and working in Richardson’s hometown. Our journeys have been different geographically, to say the least, but we share a grounding in media that serves communities.
I’m proud that this Q&A is featured in the Summer 2022 edition of Vinegar Hill Magazine. Get the print version, read it online or — even better — become a member of Vinegar Hill to get quarterly print editions. In this issue of the magazine, you’ll also see Charlotte Rene Woods’ reporting on former Charlottesville police chief RaShall Brackney’s lawsuit against the city. There are stories on powerful Black women in the arts and fashion, and an essay about a life marked by mass shootings and gun violence, too.
Vinegar Hill is one of our partners in Charlottesville Inclusive Media and, together with the In My Humble Opinion radio program, we work hard to make a media ecosystem for central Virginia that reflects more of our communities. We hope that you support all three of our organizations as we build our capacity to offer news and information online, in print and on air.