An Atlanta Editorial Voice May Move to the Right
In the 1950s and ’60s, under Ralph McGill, The Atlanta Constitution infuriated conservative white readers with its liberal views, especially on segregation.
[Last week The Atlanta Journal-Constitution announced that] most of the editorial board will be replaced in May, a move that could create a different — and perhaps less liberal — voice for one of the country’s leading regional papers.
Ms. [Cynthia] Tucker and three others will leave the board, but will continue to write their columns. The paper’s editor, Julia Wallace; the senior managing editor, James Mallory; and the publisher, Doug Franklin, will join the editorial board, a role they did not play before. Andre Jackson, who joined the board last year, will become the editorial editor. In addition, the paper recently hired two conservative columnists.
To some longtime readers inside and outside the paper, the changes add up to a stance that will be more conservative over all, and more averse to controversy.
“I think they’re trying not to offend,” said Kenneth Edelstein, a blogger and former editor of Creative Loafing, an Atlanta alternative weekly. “It’s definitely a move to the right, and it’s a real change for a paper that was the most important progressive voice in the South for a long time.”
Atlanta had two papers, the more liberal Constitution and the more conservative Journal, until their parent company, Cox Enterprises, merged them in 2002.