Newspapers have often been referenced as the first draft of history.

As editor of The Atlanta Constitution in 1942 and then publisher in 1960, Ralph McGill was among those who spoke out against racism and was a leading voice for racial and ethnic tolerance. The Pulitzer Prize winner continued with that purpose until his death in 1969.

Given our long-standing tradition of supporting civil rights, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) honoured the recent 50th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We worked on an integrated content project with our CMG Atlanta TV and radio stations. The teams created immersive content presentations, including a robust collection of stories, photos, TV footage, and broadcasts, taking audiences back to the tragic events of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, death and remembering a nation in mourning.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s multi-faceted campaign reached audiences in a variety of ways to talk about the great things Martin Luther King, Jr., achieved in his lifetime.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s multi-faceted campaign reached audiences in a variety of ways to talk about the great things Martin Luther King, Jr., achieved in his lifetime.

In today’s barrage of fake news, media bashing, polarised political views, and public discord, our role in bringing our community together is as important as ever. This project was a chance to show respect for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, legacy and renew our institutional memory, earned credibility, and collective media power.

The AJC hosted an event at the Atlanta History Center, inviting our most valued subscribers and community leaders to a discussion on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, legacy. The panel was comprised of living legends in the civil rights era, including activist and business leader Xernona Clayton, former Atlanta mayor Shirley C. Franklin, Dr. Bernice King, Ambassador Andrew J. Young, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former AJC managing editor Hank Klibanoff, and author and Pulitzer prize winner David Garrow.

Our audience responded with deep appreciation for the project:

“To be able to hear from such key people not only regarding their relationship with MLK but their own impact on ATL — very special. The stories were wonderful — spoken word makes them that much more impactful ... Overall it was a great tribute to MLK, I loved and cried with the guests — just awesome. Thank you.”

“I enjoyed the personal history and shared accounts of the panel members insight during that period. The reception area was also a big plus. It allowed those in attendance a place to reflect and exchange our personal accounts of that period.”

You can watch the live event here

The campaign spanned many platforms, including a dedicated Twitter feed.
The campaign spanned many platforms, including a dedicated Twitter feed.

The content and marketing included the following elements:

  • Six-page printed special section, sponsored by the Atlanta Braves with overruns, on April 4.
  • Orchestrated moment of silence across all our media outlets — TV, radio, and digital — at 8:04 p.m. EST, the time of MLK’s death.
  • Immersive and interactive presentation, including video, TV footage, AJC front pages, stories, and radio broadcasts from the period.
  • Twitter account @HonoringMLK that recounted each event during the day of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, death.
  • Expansive news and digital coverage on WSB TV Channel 2, AJC, WSB Talk Radio, and Kiss 104 FM.
  • WSB TV Channel 2 documentary, “The Last Days of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”
  • Comprehensive news optimised on social and search platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Google.

This multi-faceted project was a great example of how integrated content efforts created a value-added feature for readers and community members.