Reporting on Dr. King's dream in 2013

Thursday, 29 August 2013

News organizations convened on Twitter to debate the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech — and share the nation’s collective hopes, feelings and, yes, #dreams for the future. But how did they do it?

The celebration in Washington included speeches by President @BarackObama, former presidents @billclinton and Jimmy Carter, @Oprah, and others, and dominated the news cycle.

On the 50th anniversary of #IHaveADream, news orgs told the story with Twitter.

News organizations posted callouts on Twitter, asking people to share their thoughts about Dr. King’s historic speech and the day’s commemorative events. A selection follows.

A call to action
A number of news outlets asked their followers what the #IHaveADream speech meant to them and what it means today.

@NBCnews promoted the hashtag #DreamDay to encourage followers — and celebrities — to share their dreams for today. The results were then shared on the special NBC #DreamDay website.

 @MSNBC asked viewers to share their thoughts and photos on Dr. King’s vision of #AdvancingTheDream. The results were embedded in a social media gallery, where users could “like” favorite entries. News correspondents took part too:

ABC News/Univision (@ABC) collected Vine posts from viewers using the hashtag #FusionDream, asking them to complete the sentence: “I still have a dream that…”. The results, as reported by Poynter, were then displayed on a RebelMouse page, which aggregates social media feeds.

Meanwhile, @DianeSawyer from ABC News asked her followers to get involved:

Showcasing the past

@NPR told the story from 1963 with its @todayin1963 account, using Twitter to highlight news from the past in a modern way.

The events were a reason for news organizations to showcase their extensive archives from that tumultuous year. Here’s one example from the @TheBuffaloNews:

Telling data stories about the present

@CNN used Vine to tell data stories, plotting the change in income disparity since the time of Dr. King’s speech.

You can read about #datavines and get some tips for making your own here.

Do you know of any innovative uses of Twitter in the news? Contact us at [email protected].