Atlanta's Black-Owned Newspaper Is Still Going Strong
ATLANTA — A GLOBE-SHAPED sign hanging outside a small storefront along the commercial district of Atlanta's historic Auburn Avenue indicates a visitor has reached the Atlanta Daily World.
Inside the circa-1900 building, a guest book logs incoming visitors. Journalism and service-to-the-community awards crowd the walls. Old desks fill the U-shaped room, and stacks of papers are ubiquitous.
The Atlanta Daily World has been a family operation since it was founded by William A. Scott II as a weekly newspaper in 1928. Four years later it became the country's first black daily. By 1933, Mr. Scott had also developed a chain of more than 40 black newspapers printed at the ``World'' plant on Auburn Avenue.. They included the Memphis World and the Birmingham World, which still operates as a weekly.
Before his death in 1934 Scott had named his 26-year-old brother, Cornelius A. Scott, as executor in his will, bidding him ``to take charge, and don't let anybody run over you.'' C. A. Scott, as he is known, is still the managing editor, and his daughter, Portia, is his assistant.
``We provide a voice in the black community that is one of high standards, integrity,'' Ms. Scott says. ``We've always been a catalyst and had an impact on the community.''
Some of the awards the paper has received support that. In 1978, it received a journalism award for upholding the highstandards of journalism and publishing during 1977. In 1989, C.A. Scott accepted the World Media Association ``Tiger'' Award for Ethics in Journalism.
The elder Scott remembers how he and another reporter took the lead in campaigning for the city to leave Auburn Avenue out of an urban renewal project in 1950 that would have destroyed it as a business area. The paper was also instrumental in championing civil rights.
The Atlanta Daily World has about 19 people on staff, including four full-time writers. With a circulation of about 18,000, the paper now publishes three times a week and includes a blend of international, national, local news, and features.