House. All the journalists were assigned seats denoted by numbers distributed by the White House Press office. I was No. 75.
As we waited for the president, commentators from CNN, MSNBC, and others simultaneously offered their commentary of the session to come.
Other members of the White House press corps joked, reconnected, and offered their analysis of the recent Senate battle over the stimulus package.
The president offered comments, once again reviewing the merits of his economic plan. Then he took questions. The room of journalists — including me — raised their hands in an effort to get selected by the president and ask an all-important question among millions of TV viewers. But the president selected journalists from a list. The questions ran the gamut from the economy to the war in Afghanistan to baseball player Alex Rodriguez’s past steroid use.
Although I didn’t get to ask my question, I was seen on television and received a steady stream of heartwarming e-mails from friends and colleagues. The comments were deeply appreciated. They communicated that Black Enterprise was appropriately placed among the journalistic elite and deserved to be there because of four decades of journalistic excellence and influence in the business and economic community.
More importantly, we needed to share with our readers public policy that will impact their business and financial lives.
It also told me how far I’ve come, from a small black weekly in Norfolk, Virginia to the White House. And at the next press, I’m sure I’ll get a chance to ask my question.
Derek T. Dingle is the editor-in-chief of Black Enterprise magazine.