Reporter, The Washington Post
Washington Post rising star
Key previous position: Congressional reporter, Politico
Education: U of Iowa; American University
Notable fact: Urban ministry volunteer
About the same time as President Trump was on one of his many Twitter rants against The Washington Post, slamming the paper’s reporting as “pure fiction”, Seung Min Kim was describing how an early love of reading novels set her on her career path.
“I always had my nose buried in a book, usually The Babysitters Club,” she said. “I wanted to be some sort of writer, but I wasn’t creative enough to be a fiction writer, so I had this mentality that I was going to be a reporter and just write about facts.”
Now, Kim covers the intersection of the White House and Congress for the Post, which has become one of the most frequent targets for Trump’s attacks on the press. She has broken news on everything from a liberal group’s list of suggested SCOTUS nominees to Trump’s meetings with key senators to what’s on the menu for Senate Republicans’ weekly lunch.
Her success is born of experience—she joined her long time dream paper after nearly a decade covering Congress at Politico—and plenty of walking.
“I get in a lot of steps on the Hill,” she joked.
When she’s not in the Capitol, she’s likely traveling with Trump—to a Kentucky rally, an Atlanta event, or an Alabama football game. Sometimes she’ll join the president on Air Force One, but she’s equally comfortable hopping on an early morning flight from BWI.
As a Korean-American, Kim has blazed a trail in the upper echelon of a field known to skew white and male. She says she’s glad to see increasing diversity in newsrooms, but she noted that women of color in high-profile jobs feel heightened pressure, “particularly at this point in time.”
She also feels she’s had to work against some aspects of her cultural background. “The way I was raised, you don’t necessarily question, particularly, your elders,” she said, “Which is definitely something that you’re going to have to shake off if you’re a journalist. ‘Cause we are annoying people, all the time … because we’re trying to get answers for our readers.”