The March on Washington: 50 years later

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and papers around the country have been marking the occasion.

To add your pages to the collection, email the PDFs and a few words on how they came together to [email protected]

Des Moines Register

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Karla-Brown Garcia, Des Moines Gannett Design Studio team leader: Here in Des Moines, we’re extremely lucky to have on staff the wonderfully talented artist Mark Marturello as well as editors who understand and value the importance of  visual journalism.

Planning discussions about our March on Washington anniversary coverage started several weeks in advance. Our interim executive editor, Carol Hunter, was the driving force behind our content – which included a Tuesday package featuring prominent Iowans talking about the personal impact of King’s speech (with a Unnamed_CCI_EPSbillboard treatment on 1A), and Wednesday’s front-page centerpiece and inside pages with vignettes from Iowans recalling their memories of participating in the March on Washington.

My initial thoughts for our front-page visual centered around the historic image of King looking out over the mall with raised arm – and incorporating some of our photographers’ portraits of Iowans who were there. That would have been a fine solution, but we knew Mark’s touch could make the Register stand out from what we anticipated other papers to have on their front page today.

Mark, Carol and I collaborated on image choices for his collage, and Mark worked his magic.

Front page designer Liv Anderson brought simple elegance in typography, which allowed Mark’s illustration to shine. Liv and designer Hillory Stirler carried the same lightness to the inside pages, which were well organized and approachable.



Sara Stewart, design director: We had a great idea of running the speech in its entirety and highlighting the “I have a dream” portion of it for Wednesday’s cover. The designer, Jacqueline Cantu, and I worked on a visually beautiful, typography-based cover that we thought would make RedEye stand out. A few hours before deadline, the night editor Mike Hines thought to double-check that the speech isn’t copyrighted. It is! It is so copyrighted that the King family has sued media outlets in the past for using the text of the speech. A quick talk with the Tribune’s lawyers and we knew we had to change direction to our second-favorite cover option. We’re all still very happy how it turned out and very, very happy we are not dealing with a lawsuit today.

The Washington Post

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Chris George, news designer: I was thinking this morning about how to complement our March on Washington stories on A1, and I considered a few possibilities, the winner being a quote from today’s speeches paired with one from MLK. It took a few iterations to find the right place for it (I originally tried it at the top), but I really wanted to connect this package to some of King’s own words, so I’m glad it worked out.

We had several good photos to choose from. We wanted to see the scale of the event, so we chose a lead image that provided that context, not to mention lots of great faces and the Capitol in the background to boot. We chose a secondary photo showing the Obamas, Clinton and Carter, requiring some adjustment because of its vertical shape.

The size of the package on A1 faced a few limitations because we felt the Syria package needed to have significant space, and there was a desire to fit one or two other stories on the cover, too.

For the jump pages, photo director MaryAnne Golon and her team pulled together a sizable photo report and showed it to deputy design director Greg Manifold, fellow designer Jeff Loudy and me. MaryAnne saw a really nice pairing to use as lead images across the top of the spread, and Jeff took it and ran with it. We all reviewed it and tweaked a little bit from there. At one point we had considered running excerpts from the speeches but ultimately scrapped the idea so we’d have the space to show more angles photographically.


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Jon Benedict, designer

See how papers covered the anniversary in their Sunday editions.

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