Saturday, August 24, 2013

How the Washington Post blew the story of the March on Washington

Posted By on Sat, Aug 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM


WHAT DREAM: Martin Luther King's famous speech merited only a brief mention on page A15 in the next day's Washington Post.
  • WHAT DREAM: Martin Luther King's famous speech merited only a brief mention on page A15 in the next day's Washington Post.

Before we all get too misty-eyed about the demise of the legacy media, remember that sometimes the glory days weren't so glorious.

Amazing story in the Washington Post today by Robert Kaiser, who was a reporting beginner when thousands marched on Washington to demonstrate for civil rights in 1963.

The Post mustered 60 reporters — SIXTY — to cover the story like the dew covers Georgia. To the Post, the big news was activist John Lewis, the then-student activist who toned down a fiery speech. That other guy? The preacher?

The Post, however, got embarrassed. The main event that day was what we now call the “I Have a Dream” speech of Martin Luther King Jr., one of the most important speeches in U.S. history. But on the day it was given, The Post didn’t think so. We nearly failed to mention it at all.

We were poised and ready for a riot, for trouble, for unexpected events — but not for history to be made. Baker’s 1,300-word lead story, which began under a banner headline on the front page and summarized the events of the day, did not mention King’s name or his speech. It did note that the crowd easily exceeded 200,000, the biggest assemblage in Washington “within memory” — and they all remained “orderly.”

In that paper of Aug. 29, 1963, The Post published two dozen stories about the march. Every one missed the importance of King’s address. The words “I have a dream” appeared in only one, a wrap-up of the day’s rhetoric on Page A15 — in the fifth paragraph. We also printed brief excerpts from the speeches, but the three paragraphs chosen from King’s speech did not include “I have a dream.”

I’ve never seen anyone call us on this bit of journalistic malpractice. Perhaps this anniversary provides a good moment to cop a plea. We blew it.


Tags: , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • No-cost highways? See college tuitions

    The side effects of a no-tax highway construction programs and restrictive state budgeting continue to roll in. Add the University of Arkansas to the list of colleges in Arkansas with plans to raise tuition and fees.
    • May 23, 2016
  • Monday's open line

    Here's your Monday open line and video news roundup.
    • May 23, 2016
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Over? Did you say over? David Koon comments on Election 2014

    David Koon issues a battle cry for Tuesday's losers. It's Bluto-worthy.
    • Nov 6, 2014
  • Death reported in storm near Ashdown

    Fox 16 reports a death from a possible tornado in a storm near Ashdown, part of a system moving through the state with rain and high wind.
    • Oct 13, 2014
  • An invite for the governor and more on the struggle for gay rights in Arkansas

    Monday was a dispiriting today for equality. SB 202, to prevent local governments from protecting the civil rights LGBT people, became law with Gov. Asa Hutuchinson's acquiesence. An even more damaging bill, HB 1228, which gives blanket state protection to gay discrimination (in the name of "conscience"), is awaiting Senate action. But supporters of sexual equality battle on, even against daunting political numbers. At least one has reached out to Gov. Asa Hutchinson to lend an ear. Developments
    • Feb 24, 2015

Most Shared

  • The museum of yet to come at the University of Arkansas

    At the McMillon Family Retail Innovation and Technology Lab, students and faculty are creating a space that will give both visitors and companies a vital glimpse of the stores, products and consumer habits of the future.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: You need this T-shirt

    • PROCEDURE OF JOINING the great Illuminati brotherhood.. GREAT ILLUMINATI TEMPLE Of MONEY AND POWER, JOIN…

    • on May 24, 2016
  • Re: Huckabee demagoguery closes schools in Kentucky

    • Are you from SOUTH AFRICA, USA, OR ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD TODAY BE RICH, FAME,…

    • on May 24, 2016
  • Re: Monday's open line

    • Newly minted Christian theocrat Donald Trump just appointed Frank Amedia — pastor of Touch Heaven…

    • on May 24, 2016

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation