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Date Posted:12/17/04

Profile: Matthew Scott
by:Tracy Casseus

Twenty-one years ago, when Matthew Scott purchased his first subscription to Black Enterprise, he never dreamed heíd be where he is today- the personal finance editor for the magazine.

After graduating from Edward R. Murrow High School, this native of Crown Heights, Brooklyn went on to earn a B.A. in Journalism and English Literature from Rutgers University in 1983. " I was sick and tired of hearing that black people had nothing," Scott said when asked why he wanted to be a journalist. "I saw journalists as people who actually tell the truth."

Scott first read Black Enterprise during his freshman year in college. In it, he finally found an outlet for him to write about his favorite topics. "Everything revolves around money," he said.After college, Scott wrote for a weekly community newspaper called Big Red News. "Big Red gave me the opportunity to go out and report on stories," he said. He left the publication in 1985 and worked as a substitute English teacher at various junior high schools in New York City for three years. ìAt the time I couldnít find a journalism job,î he recalled. "You have to have more than one option in your career. My skill is writing or teaching other people to write."

In 1989, he stopped teaching to focus more on his writing and soon took the position of Director of Communications at the National Bar Association, the countryís largest organization of African American lawyers. There he was responsible for coordinating the organizationís public relations effort and news coverage of its annual conventions, as well as managing the production of the NBA Magazine. "It gave me the opportunity to be a journalists on a regular basis," he said.

Scott arrived at Black Enterprise in 1990. He started out, as news editor then became technology editor, then a senior writer, a senior editor, and finally managing editor.
Scott left Black Enterprise to launch a business magazine, New Vision in Business, where he served as Editor-In-Chief. The magazine targets urban professionals between the ages of 24 and 40 about personal finance and other money matters. Scott left the publication after two years and returned to Black Enterprise as its Personal Finance Editor.

Scott has received several journalism awards that exhibit his talent in writing. He has received a number of Unity Awards in media in categories such as business, politics, as well as technology. Scott has also won a Fellow Award for editorial excellence in 1997 as the managing editor at Black Enterprise and in the consumer business category in 2003.
Scotts job at Black Enterprise encompasses so much like being responsible for 12 to 20 editorial pages a month for the magazine, traveling around the country making lectures about personal finance, talking on Black Enterpriseís television show and radio show.

Outside of Black Enterprise he is also President of the New York City chapter of the New York Association of Black Journalists, which he joined after graduating from Rutgers.
" It ís extremely important right now that young people understand the power of journalism, "Scott said. "If we do not have a vehicle to communicate our values as a people in terms of whatís really important to us, then we donít have a voice in this country ".

" We need journalists to bring African Americans information that we may not normally get. Right now we don't have many vehicles to deliver information to our people [African Americans]. Itís more important than ever for African Americans to become journalists to deliver our people from poverty and ignorance. A people with no voice cannot remain free. If we donít speak for ourselves no one in this country will. "

In August of 2005 Black Enterprise will celebrate its 35th anniversary. " Black Enterprise will continue to bring the message of building wealth to our readers," Scott remarked. " We're going to continue to improve our television show, The Black Enterprise Report, reach more readers and entrepreneurs, and just continue to do more groundbreaking stories".

© Copyright 2004

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