Just Asking: Shomari Stone, NBC4 news reporter


Shomari Stone of NBC4. (Andre Chung/For The Washington Post)
Joe Heim
Writer and editor May 23

Shomari Stone, 36, has been a reporter for NBC4 since 2011. He graduated from St. John’s College High School, then the University of Michigan.

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on the air?

Joe Heim is an editor and writer for The Washington Post magazine where he writes Just Asking, a weekly Q&A column. He has recently written about candy, not saving for your kids for college, Downton Abbey, the role of presidents as consolers-in-chief and about Washingtonians personal experiences with gun violence. View Archive

There was a news conference, and I had just finished coaching my son’s basketball. And at the news conference I called [Police] Chief [Cathy] Lanier “coach.” It was so embarrassing. I said, “Coach!” and people looked at me like I was crazy. And she laughed; she thought it was funny. And we just kept on covering the story.

You cover a lot of crime. There’s got to be a feeling that if you look out and see Shomari Stone on your street, something bad has happened.

Yeah! It gets to the point where I will arrive, and people will say, “Oh, no, Shomari’s here! What has gone wrong?”

Does covering so much crime skew your perception of D.C.?

You become a little overprotective,
but then you try and take a step back because you don’t want your kids thinking that the entire world is this awful, evil place. But it takes a toll on you. Like this Relisha Rudd story. I keep thinking about it.

Why do people talk to reporters?

Every single person has a story. Something’s going on in their lives, whether it’s economic issues, whether
it’s divorce, you’re a victim of a scam, dealing with drug issues. Everyone
has a story, and they want their story
told by someone that can be accurate
and make sure that their voice is being heard.

What’s the best story you covered here?

Mirlande Wilson. Mirlande claimed that she won the Mega Millions lottery. I had an exclusive interview with her, and she was quite a character. She said she lost the ticket. And I said, “Mirlande, where is the ticket?”And she said in the McDonald’s. People were saying it was behind the McFlurry machine. Turns out she didn’t win the lottery and just made up the story.

What’s your long-term plan?

I remember living on N Street and in Cleveland Park and just dreaming of being a reporter in this city. Watching Jim Vance and Pat Collins, Tom Sherwood, Doreen Gentzler. Saying I want to cover news here one day at News 4. It’s the number one NBC station in the country. And my dream came true; I’m living my dream.

So you don’t just want to shove Jim and Doreen out of their anchor seats?

Never! Oh, my goodness! No! No! They are amazing. I just want to do
my reports. People ask, ‘Don’t you
want to anchor?’ I’m happy doing what I’m doing. Why can’t anyone just
be content?

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