Moving from reporter to columnist is a big step in a sportswriter’s career. Washington Post writer Candace Buckner is now in that position, getting promoted to a columnist in the renowned newspaper’s sports section after five years as a reporter.

Post sports editors Matt Vita, Matt Rennie, and Dan Steinberg made the announcement on Friday.

“We are, as Candace would put it, pleased as punch to announce that Candace Buckner will become a columnist for Sports, where she will write commentary, criticism and essays that focus on how sports shape and illuminate our understanding of culture and society.”

Moving to columnist appears to be a natural progression for Buckner, who’s been covering race, gender, and social issues in sports as an enterprise reporter during the past two years. She also contributed to the Post‘s COVID-19 coverage, helping out in an area of need for the paper while sports were shut down.

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Among the topics Buckner covered was the NFL’s struggle with social justice messaging, Black football agents’ difficulty in signing white athletes, Howard University starting up a golf program, and WNBA players’ feud with former Georgia senator Kelly Loeffler,

Buckner joined the Post in 2016 to cover the Washington Wizards beat after previously covering the Indiana Pacers for the Indianapolis Star and Portland Trail Blazers for the Vancouver Columbian.

Staying with the Post was obviously the right move professionally for Buckner, who was among the sportswriters The Athletic approached when trying to create a bigger footprint in the Washington D.C. sports media scene.

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“I never had goals of being a columnist, especially at a prestigious place like The Post,” Buckner said in a tweet following up the announcement. “My dream was to be a features writer. But this is only to say to young people… don’t make my mistake. You need bigger, bolder dreams.”

And if you’re at all curious as to how well Buckner is regarded among her sportswriting peers, scroll through the responses to the tweet announcing her career news.

[The Washington Post]

About Ian Casselberry

Ian is a writer, editor, and podcaster. You can find his work at Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He's written for Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, MLive, Bleacher Report, and SB Nation.