By M. Alexis Scott
As we mark the 83rd anniversary of Atlanta Daily World, I am grateful for the shoulders on which we stand — as a family and as a business.
Five generations of Scotts have worked here since the paper was founded by my grandfather in 1928. This includes my grandfather’s mother, my grandmother, my parents, my brother, my two sons and my niece and two nephews. And this is just my immediate family.
My grandfather, W. A. Scott II, was one of nine. All of his siblings worked in the business. A majority of their children and some of their children’s children have worked at the paper at one time or another. Two cousins – Wendell S. Scott and Portia A. Scott – work with us now as vice president of operations and acting managing editor, respectively. We were born with newspaper ink in our veins.
It has been a remarkable journey that also includes dozens, if not hundreds, of non-family members who have dedicated themselves to producing a paper to inform, educate, inspire and entertain countless readers for eight decades.
There have been many daunting challenges along the way.
Our founder was murdered by an assassin’s bullet in 1934, just two years after he put the paper on a daily publishing schedule. It became the first successful Black-owned daily in the country in the 20th century. And he had not yet turned 32 years old when he died. No one was ever convicted of the crime.
One of his younger brothers, Cornelius Adolphus took over. At only 26 years old, “C.A.” took on the mantle of editor and general manager, and ran the paper for an unprecedented 63 years. I succeeded him in 1997.
While the newspaper was born in the Great Depression, we’ve worked hard to survive the Great Recession. As the tornado took the roof off our building in 2008, preparations were underway to open three “Atlanta Daily World” newsstands at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. We are grateful to our new partners — Atlanta Retail Management — for this very high-profile licensing opportunity, and the much needed new revenue stream.
I am very grateful to family and staff who have stayed with us during this really tough economic period.
Like other newspapers, we are grappling with the challenges of competing for our readers’ time, especially with the proliferation of addictive social networks on the Internet. We launched our website in 1999, and have a Facebook page that is still trying to define itself. And yes, I have a Facebook page and I tweet under the name of “adwnewswoman.”
And, how lucky are we to live in Atlanta to have such a great news town to cover? We’ve been able to chronicle the horrific lynchings, the dismantling of segregation through dramatic court cases and massive street demonstrations, and we’ve covered the elections and administrations of five successive Black mayors. Plus we were able to cover the election of the