Journalist Sandra Dawson Long Weaver was born on June 25, 1952 in Annapolis, Maryland. She attended the University of Maryland, where she worked for the Black Explosion college newspaper and received her B.S. degree in journalism in 1974. She also worked as an intern for Newsweek, and went on to attend the Advanced Executive Program at the Northwestern Media Management Center.
Upon graduation from the University of Maryland in 1974, Long Weaver was hired as a staff reporter for the News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware. She then went on to work for Philadelphia’s Evening Bulletin as a reporter, copy editor and editorial writer before joining the staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer as a correspondent in 1984, where she went on to become the first African American female managing editor. There she held several executive positions, including deputy managing editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2005 to 2007, and managing editor for Philadelphia Newspapers, LLC and the Philadelphia Inquirer from 2007 to 2008. Then, in 2008, Long Weaver was named vice president of newsroom operations for Philadelphia Media Holdings, and worked in both The Inquirer and The Philadelphia Daily News newsrooms.
In 2010, she established and became president and chief executive officer of the Dawson Media Group, a multi-media communications and consulting practice. Long Weaver left her position with Philadelphia Media Network in 2011, and went on to work as communications coordinator for United Methodist Communications and editorial director for the Tennessee Tribune. She created “Take 10 on Tuesdays” with the Tennessee Tribune, a weekly video series featuring African Americans in the Nashville area; and, in 2014, she launched Tea and Conversations with African American women, a networking and communications event.
Long Weaver is a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and has served for many years as chairperson and publisher for the Acel Moore Minority Career Development Workshop at The Philadelphia Inquirer. In 2011, she organized the first Founders Reception and the first “Divine Nine” breakfast for NABJ members. Long Weaver has served on the boards of African Women’s Development Fund USA and the Phillip Merrill School of Journalism at the University of Maryland. She also acted as the secretary-treasurer of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors.
Long Weaver has received multiple awards, including the 2008 Woman of The Year Award given by the Philadelphia Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, the 2007 Trailblazer Award from the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, and the 2007 Courage Award from the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Cancer Society. In addition, she was a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in arts and journalism.
Sandra Long Weaver was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 23, 2014.