Standout coverage of the March on Washington anniversary

Thousands of people gathered in Washington, D.C., today to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Wednesday. News organizations have been covering the anniversary for weeks — by featuring stories about people who were at the march, creating social media experiments and resurfacing old photos.

Here’s a look at some standout coverage. If you worked on something you think we should consider adding, please link to it in the comments section of this piece, or tweet it to @Poynter with the hashtag #marchcoverage.

Looking at the dream, 50 years later

Using social media to collect stories about the march, dream

  • MSNBC posed the question: “How are you advancing the dream?” It encouraged people to use the hashtag #advancingthedream and post photos via Twitter and Instagram. Several people participated and posted photos of themselves with captions that answered the question. (MuckRack has a list of journalists who have tweeted the #advancingthedream hashtag.)
One of the photos MSNBC featured.

 

Highlighting stories from people involved in the march

“I was not that close up on Martin when he spoke, he was like a dot, almost, but you could hear him. When he started talking, everybody got quiet. You didn’t hear babies crying or anything. It was just still. And the momentum that started to build up, you saw people crying. I was crying. And you saw people, strangers, black and white, hugging each other. Even now when I hear the speech, I’ll start crying. I don’t care where I am, tears will start coming.”

  • Time magazine published a commemorative issue and created a “One Dream” interactive site that features interviews with Maya Angelou, Jesse Jackson, Malala Yousafzai, Colin Powell and activists and march attendees.
  • The Montgomery Advertiser did video interviews with local residents, including a civil rights attorney and State Sen. Hank Sanders, who is attending the anniversary march. He told the Advertiser he regretted not having gone in 1963.

“I’m going for that reason, but also because I think we are losing the rights we won in the ’60s and in the decades following,” he said. … This is an opportunity for me to join others who want to send a message that we intend to not go quietly back, but that we intend to stand and fight.”

Remembering & critiquing coverage, 50 years later

  • WGBH in Boston published the 1963 broadcast schedule. The coverage lasted for 15 uninterrupted hours, from 9 a.m. to midnight. On Wednesday, WGBH will be live streaming the 50th anniversary coverage during those same hours.
  • Robert G. Kaiser, an associate editor of The Washington Post, wrote a piece about why the paper “blew” its 1963 coverage of the march. Kaiser, who had been covering it as a summer intern, said the paper was “poised and ready for a riot, for trouble, for unexpected events — but not for history to be made”:

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.

Resurfacing photos from the march

Here are some recent AP photos:

Rev. Al Sharpton, left, Martin Luther King, III, right, Jesse Jackson, in glasses, start the march at Lincoln Memorial during the rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. Tens of thousands of people marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and down the National Mall on Saturday, to commemorate King’s famous “”I Have a Dream” speech, made Aug. 28, 1963, during the March on Washington, and pledging that his dream includes equality for gays, Latinos, the poor and the disabled. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)
In this combination of Associated Press file photos, at top, civil rights protestors march down Constitution Avenue carrying placards during the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963; and at bottom, people rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. (AP Photo/File)
In this combination of Associated Press file photos, at left, a mass of demonstrators leaves the Washington Monument for the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963; and at right, people line the Reflecting Pool as they attend a rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 march on Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, in Washington. Fifty years after the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. offered a transcendent vision of racial harmony for America’s future with his “I Have a Dream” speech, tens of thousands gathered where he spoke Saturday to hear leaders tell them that while much has been attained, much remains unfinished. (AP Photo/File)
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif., Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King, III, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., Bernice King, Adreienne King, among others start the march at Lincoln Memorial during the rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013. Tens of thousands of people marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and down the National Mall on Saturday, to commemorate King’s famous “”I Have a Dream” speech, made Aug. 28, 1963, during the March on Washington, and pledging that his dream includes equality for gays, Latinos, the poor and the disabled. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Related: MSNBC will pay King family to air ‘I Have a Dream’ speech | Golf Channel deletes tweet asking people to share golf dreams in honor of MLK

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    Maryland Public Television filed this report: http://bit.ly/MarchWash, #marchonwashington, #marchcoverage.