Sunday editions: The March on Washington

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Washington Post

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Greg Manifold, deputy design director for news: The 10-page March on Washington special section was 49 years in the making. It’s an anniversary that is important to the country and to this city. We expected an influx of tourists in town for the event, which started this weekend, and we were right.

The section was designed by Chris Meighan (deputy design director for features) and myself, with photo editing by MaryAnne Golon and Michel du Cille.

I personally learned more from this special section than any other special section I’ve been a part of. We were helped in the creative process by watching YouTube videos from the march to help us understand the day.

Tampa Bay Times

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Jennifer Wright, A1 designer: We were fortunate this Sunday to have two staff stories vying for centerpiece.

“Secrets and Shame” is a story about male victims of long-ago military sexual trauma getting help at a local VA hospital. The lead image by staff photographer Melissa Lyttle conveys some pretty strong body language. “An indelible imprint” is about Tampa Bay residents sharing their memories of the 1963 March on Washington. Staff photographers Maurice Rivenbark, Dirk Shadd and Edmund D. Fountain took portraits to accompany each vignette.

times4In one of the portraits, Hank Millett displays one of 13 Polaroid photos he had taken on Aug. 28, 1963, in Washington.  I’m not sure how it came about, but I was delighted to learn from our Director of photography/multimedia Boyzell Hosey that Mr. Millett had agreed to share those historic photographs with us.

I prepared two page options for Executive Editor Neil Brown to consider, and he decided that overplaying “Secrets and Shame” and using “An indelible imprint” as a centerpiece did better by both stories.

The march story came to the desk written in one long take starting with several introductory/summary graphs followed by the vignettes separated by bullets. Sunday editor Paul Alexander, who edited and designed the jump page of the package, pulled the pieces apart and rearranged them and their accompanying portraits, giving emphasis to the one that included a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for context. I placed a live wire story from Saturday commemorating the march on the facing page.

We also used the cover of our Perspective section, designed by Terry Chapman, to show MLK’s speech in its entirety.

Chicago Tribune

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Chuck Burke, Senior Editor/Designer: This is one of the most smartly edited in-their-own-words stories I’ve ever worked with. Looking to offer a unique take on the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington / Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, we tracked down five people who had traveled from Chicago to attend. On the cover, we went with a pair of nearly equally sized photos to give the presentation an immediate then-and-now feel, and the black rectangles behind the display type are meant to help connect everything as a single visual unit. That aesthetic proved helpful on the facing inside pages, helping us design the five vignettes in a distinct way. chicagotribune-ae-coverIn an interesting quirk, we realized the Chicago man in the top photo on the cover is named John Lewis, which coincidentally is also the name of another of the prominent speakers who addressed the Washington crowds both on that day in 1963 and at Saturday’s anniversary rally. After spending too much time discussing whether we were being misleading, we decided to simply mention his name and home neighborhood and to clarify things with the vignette inside.

Chicago Flashback is a weekly Sunday page in which we highlight material from the Chicago Tribune archives that relates to events in 2013. This anniversary gave us the opportunity to show how our predecessors chronicled such a huge national event from a daily-journalism perspective — and to give an example of how white journalists from the early ’60s prioritized their coverage of a key moment in the civil rights movement. Really interesting.

For our Sunday A&E cover, we used the anniversary to discuss and dramatically present a list of 10 musical signposts that helped maintain the momentum the civil rights movement, “a revolution with a soundtrack.”

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Mike Rice, features design director: This Sunday our features section kicked off a three-part series on the sweeping changes that were seen in 1963. The first part, targeted to the anniversary of the March on Washington, deals with the civil rights movement. (Story link:

I knew that we would have a lot of archive photography to work with — but so would everyone else. So, to try to do something different, I decided to go with an illustration. I knew from the start that I wanted to use an image of the Washington Monument. I did a few rough sketches to get the idea — and the single story start (we typically start three stories on our cover) — approved by my editor.

Unfortunately, the illustrator I wanted to hire for the job was swamped and had to turn me down. Since I was working on this a few days ahead of schedule, I decided to take a shot at the illustration myself. I already had a rough idea, and if I determined it wasn’t going well I still had time to find another freelancer. After a few hours of working on it — and getting feedback from other designers around the room (and the country) — I decided it was good enough to move forward with. I kept tweaking it up until deadline, trying to achieve that fine line between simple and unfinished.

The design of the package was kept very simple to keep from overpowering the illustration. The archive photos were added for a much-needed touch of reality — and could have been removed if a last-minute strip ad had come into play.

Indianapolis Star

Ian Lawson, designer: The page got started once I got a chance to see the art available from the ’63 march on Washington.

I was provided with several shots of Dr. King and the crowds that came to witness this historic event.

As soon as I saw the Washington Monument shot, I knew the combination of the negative space in the sky and the shear number of people there made this my choice of a lead image.

I knew I wanted to use the space in the pic as part of my design. I didn’t want to stuff it full, so I went with just the head, byline and the deck in red just to have a bit of color in the otherwise BW package.

I went back and forth on the placement of the text and the secondary shot of Dr. King, but decided I like the text on either side with the pic breaking it up.

The package came together really quick and I’m pretty happy with how it came out.

Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Design work on A1 and the live portions of section by Emmet Smith; historical pages by Tim Graham; Forum front by David Kordalski

Have an interesting Sunday project to share? Email the PDFs and information to [email protected]

About Katie Myrick Parks

is the Senior Visuals Editor at the Global Press Journal.

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