File photo by Jonathan Boncek

Quintin Washington is a local celebrity. He has interviewed more than 2,000 South Carolina newsmakers and people of interest in the past 10 years of his YouTube show Quintin’s Close-Ups, including U.S. Congresswoman Nancy Mace, U.S. Congressman Jim Clyburn, Gloria Gaynor and more. 

His work has been so influential that Mayor John Tecklenburg and Charleston City Council dubbed May 13, 2020 “Quintin Washington Day.”

Today, May 24, 2022, marks the 10 year anniversary of Quintin’s Close-Ups, so City Paper caught up with Washington to reflect on the success of his decade-long web show.

Charleston City Paper: Tell us a little bit about your life growing up and your background.

Quintin Washington: As many people may remember from my 2016 City Paper cover story, I grew up in Charleston on the Eastside, where I currently still live. I was always intrigued with journalism, particularly broadcast news, so much so that after a middle-school field trip to the old Channel 5 station on East Bay Street, I wanted to intern for them. But I was born and raised here and am happy to provide a public service to my hometown every day. 

CP: Did you have any ‘formal’ journalistic training? 

QW: I went to College of Charleston where I majored in communication. Before that, I actually Interned at WCSC-TV in the spring and summer of 1996 while in middle school. I also worked at channels 2 and 4 as a production assistant in 2005 and beyond that, I have many years of experience in the broadcasting and journalism fields. 

CP: Why did you start doing these interviews in the first place? 

QW: I started it on my own after receiving a vision from God. Also at the time, I had my own interview web show, “Quintin Reports” at WLCN-TV in Summerville. Before the web show, I was actually a reporter for the weekday lifestyle show “Port City Live.”

CP: How did those interviews evolve over time?

QW: I have helped a lot of people be informed about issues, I have helped to solve problems for my viewers through my thousands of interviews and I have learned that news never stops. There is always something to learn. You have to keep your fingers on the pulse in this town. 

CP: What’s the best interview you’ve ever done and why? 

QW: Gloria Gaynor, hands down. She was so sweet, amicable and very humble. You can tell the presence of God in her heart. 

CP: What’s been the hardest interview you’ve ever done and why? 

QW: I haven’t had a tough one. No, not at all. 

CP: Who has agreed to an interview that surprised you the most? (Meaning, you were surprised that they agreed to do an interview.) 

QW: Jesus, I can tell you that has happened a lot recently. Rodney Scott is an example. 

CP: Who have you yet to interview that you would really like to get on the show in the future? 

QW: I have been trying for at least six months now to interview UofSC Women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley. 

CP: What’re your plans for the future? 

QW: To continue to provide a public service to the Lowcountry with my interviews. I like what I am doing, and the success that “Quintin’s Close-Ups” has under the current format, because of God and my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, so I will keep doing what I am doing. 

CP: Are you making a living doing this?  

QW: No, I actually have a regular, salaried job. I work in the food and beverage industry here in Charleston.

CP: Any advice for startup Youtubers? 
QW: Develop your own content and don’t depend on anyone to do it for you, but you. As I said in 2016, I have the YouTube channel because the TV stations in this town refused to give me at least a weekly, one-minute segment. I had sponsors and everything, but they said no. So, here I am, a decade later. YouTube has been a huge blessing from God.

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