Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Speaking Out: The Washington Post, Watergate and a Pulitzer

WILKINS: And I wanted to help make the Post speak more precisely and more powerfully to the needs of the poor and the outcast, whoever they were. But I got into this Watergate thing almost – it was two months after I got there. I did have a law degree. I had been in the Justice Department. I did know about foreign, of domestic policy and politics. But it was almost by default. Because no one really realized it was going to be a big story. So I got it and then it ran through the summer when everybody else was gone. A rookie – no matter who that rookie was – normally would not have gotten that. By the time everybody came back and the thing was growing, it was mine. Now I didn't win a Pulitzer. What happened was the Post put in the work of Woodward, Bernstein, Herb Block, and me as a package. So the Post was awarded the gold medal for public service by the Pulitzer board. And it cited the work of the four of us. But it was certainly a heck of a way to break into journalism.

BOND: That sounds like winning a Pulitzer to me.

WILKINS: Well, I am just saying it –

BOND: There were others involved.