Jodi Enda provides an insider’s view of covering presidential campaigns, the White House and Congress as a newspaper reporter during the 1990s and early 2000s. Her experiences working in high-level beats historically dominated by men and her service as JAWS president from 2001 to 2002 provide fascinating behind-the-scenes stories of U.S. and journalism history.
Jodi grew up in Illinois and developed her love of journalism while working at her high school newspaper in the 1970s. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, she began her career as a suburban reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat in the early 1980s. After a few years, she moved to the Rocky Mountain News. However, in 1987, she headed east for what would become “the great newspaper love of my life” ‒ the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“Some of the best journalists in the country worked there. We considered ourselves to be as good as The New York Times,” Jodi said. “And in terms of investigative reporting, it was the place to be. It was a writer’s paper. It was the most fun you could have in journalism, I think.”
Jodi worked for the Inquirer and Knight Ridder throughout the next 15 years, which included traveling around the world to cover presidential history as it happened. She left her job in 2003 and worked as a senior writer/editor at the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. She is now assistant managing editor for special projects for CNN Politics.
Jodi was introduced to JAWS in 1996 and believes gender-based organizations are important for women to network, learn from and support each other. We conducted her oral history in between sessions at the JAWS Vermont camp in fall 2013.
( This interview was conducted by Teri Finneman )