Selma March-50th Anniversary Coverage

Fifty years after 600 marchers crossed Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama to fight for uncontested voting rights for black individuals, President Obama, along with his family and Georgia Representative John Lewis, also walked hand in hand across the bridge.

This 50-year anniversary of Bloody Sunday was particularly momentous because of the recent decision from the Justice Department to demand a complete overhaul of Ferguson, Mo.’s criminal justice system in the wake of protests due to Officer Darren Wilson’s exoneration.

The march in Selma this past weekend was covered on all platforms: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, print and digital media.

Instagram photo from Michelle Obama
Instagram photo from the White House

The Blog:

The Washington Post covered Obama’s visit to Selma as a blog. Written by Nia Malika Henderson, a political reporter for The Fix, the post was a “behind the scenes take” of the march.

Henderson gave her own opinion within the blog that Obama “gave one of the best speeches of his life this weekend in Selma, Ala., an address designed to reframe ideas about patriotism and to inspire post-Selma generations to keep up the fight.”

She also posted a short video of the first family’s visit to Selma. In the video you see Obama’s daughters shaking hands with other marchers, and an up close shot of Michelle and Obama talking. It was something you wouldn’t see in a usual mainstream media report.

Watch the video here.

The Newspaper Website:

The New York Times, written by Peter Baker and Richard Fausset, covered the Selma Memorial march. They included Obama’s official speech in a 49-second video as well as quotes from marchers, including Dontey Carter, 24, from Ferguson and Bridgette Traveler, 48, a disabled Army veteran from Shreveport, La.

“We have a long way to go when Michael Brown was killed for just walking down the street,” Ms. Traveler said.

They also included a 2-minute and 20-second video of Gay Talese discussing the legacy of Selma.

The Times reported that about 40,000 people—mostly African-American—attended the March this past weekend in Selma.

The Broadcast Website:

NBC covered Obama’s visit to Selma with a 4-minute and 26-second video of his speech as well as a black and white clip from the actual Bloody Sunday 50 years ago.

The next section, written by Candace King, a current senior at Ithaca College, has a video of reflections from college students.

A few standout quotes:

“We have to stop looking at things as fads and trends and hashtags on Twitter and social media and we have to do the paperwork behind it like the NAACP did. You can post, but what else are you going to do to back up that post?”

“We’re still fighting the same values of the black life in America… The nooses were replaced with bullets.”

There is a video from Martin Luther King III—a reflection of the last 50 years and the equality we have not yet achieved, and Peggy Wallace—the daughter of former Alabama Gov. George Wallace.

NBC included a photo gallery of eight photos from the march.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 4.17.36 PM
One of the photos from the gallery

One interesting angle that NBC took that was different from the rest was a story about Kiyoshi Kuromiya: From Selma Marcher to AIDS Activist, written by Emil Guillermo.

Overall, I think that NBC provided the most coverage for the anniversary march in Selma. It included the must diverse information as well as the most video footage and photos.


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