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From the archives: Coverage of March on Washington

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by I Should Coco, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    As my shop struggled to localize this week's anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington, I thought it would be interesting to see how the paper covered the event on Aug. 28, 1963.

    With the huge, yellowing bound volume in front of me, I note the following:

    1. An afternoon paper, we had a huge "THOUSANDS JOIN IN MARCH" across the front page's eight columns. The subhed was, "Equal Rights for Negroes Cry of Leaders." There is just a quick reference to Dr. Martin Luther King in the UPI story, and no quotes from the "I Have a Dream" speech, but then, they were running a wire story from something that was still developing at deadline.

    2. Both the previous day (8/27/1963) and following day (8/29/63) had A1 banner heds about the march, too, but after that it vanished without a trace. Granted, at that time my town had about 15,000 people living in the northern panhandle of Idaho — not exactly a hotbed of civil rights activism (then or now, really).

    3. When older readers complain about not getting as much news in the paper as they used to, they're right. The layout was rough, but there was way more content — both local and, especially, national and international — back in 1963.

    Anyone else dare to venture into their shop's morgue and take a look back at Aug. 28, 1963? If so, let us know what you find.
     
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    For those of us who were born after that time, it is interesting to go back and see some of the video and what it was like.
     
  3. Gator

    Gator Well-Known Member

    Eight columns!?!?

    How I would have loved those days.
     
  4. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    For some reason, a bunch of old papers appeared on a desk at my shop recently (a few around the time of the moon landing, others much older than that).

    Aside from the poor design, what strikes me is how enormous the papers are, especially in width.
     
  5. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    I must be old, because what strikes me every time I pick up a newspaper now is how damn tiny they are.

    Since the Star-Telegram did its last redesign a couple years ago, it has looked like a little toy newspaper.
     
  6. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    I happen to be writing that story and spent about 45 minutes at the local library (because our microfilm goes back only to October 2013.

    Here's what I got:

    Local coverage
    The Aug. 29 edition of “The Glens Falls Post-Star” carried a two line headline above the 13 stories that appeared on its front page. The first line was about the march and read, “Over 200,000 Join in Freedom March;” and the second line, unrelated, said “Midnight Railroad Strike is Averted.”
    Underneath, over three columns in the lead-story position was a three-line headline with a smaller one underneath it. The top headline was “President Says Cause Of Negroes Advanced By Orderly Assemblage.” The smaller one said, “Only Three Arrests Made, but No Demonstrators; 1,700 Treated for Rib Fractures, Headaches and Bites.” To the right was a small story headlined “Big TV Coverage Given March.”
    Another story at the top of the page was headlined, “Mrs. Charlotte P. Hyde Dies at Her Home Here,” and there were other stories about Congress calling for arbitration in a railroad strike, the Vietnam War and U.S. support of Israel.
    The New York Times played the story up even more, devoting the entirety of five columns on its eight-column front page with five stories and a three-line headline that read, “200,000 March for Civil Rights In Orderly Washington rally; President Sees Gain for Negro.”
     
  7. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    That's what I said. The old papers are enormous (13.5+ inches wide) compared to today's (10-11 inches).
     
  8. dixiehack

    dixiehack Well-Known Member

    I take it you're pulling a Biff and betting huge on the World Series?
     
  9. fossywriter8

    fossywriter8 Active Member

    My weekly paper's only been around since 1994 and I've worked there since 1995. We've lost a full column's width since I started.
     
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