The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the only major daily newspaper in Atlanta and its suburbs. The AJC, as it is called, is owned by Cox Enterprises. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is the result of the merger between the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution . The staff was combined in 1982, and all separate delivery of the morning Constitution and afternoon Journal ended in 2001 [1] ( Since 2003, the paper has also published Access Atlanta , a free tabloid-sized entertainment paper.

Subsequent to the staff consolidation of 1982, the afternoon Journal maintained a center-right editorial page while the editorials and op-eds in the morning Constitution was reliably liberal. When the editions combined in 2001 the editorial page staffs also merged, and the editorials and op-eds have attempted to strike a more "balanced" tone.


Atlanta Constitution

The Atlanta Constitution was first published on June 16, 1868. During the 1880s, Constitution editor Henry W. Grady was a spokesman for the "New South," encouraging industrial development in the South. Joel Chandler Harris began writing for Grady's paper in 1876 and soon invented the character of Uncle Remus, a black storyteller. Ralph McGill, editor for the Constitution in the 1940s was one of the few southern newspaper editors to support the American Civil Rights Movement. From the 1970s until his death in 1994, Lewis Grizzard was a popular humor columnist for the Constitution, portraying Southern "redneck" culture with a mixture of ridicule and respect. Other editors of the Atlanta Constitution include J. Reginald Murphy.

The Constitution won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 1959 for Ralph McGill's editoral "A Church, A School....", and in 1967 for Eugene Patterson's editorials. The paper won a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1931 for exposing corruption at the local level. Jack Nelson won the Pulitzer Prize in 1960 for local reporting, exposing abuses at Milledgeville State Hospital for the mentally ill. The Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning went to the Constitiution's Doug Marlette in the 1988 and Mike Luckovich in 1995.

Atlanta Journal

The Atlanta Journal was established in 1883. Founder E.F. Hoge sold the paper to Atlanta lawyer Hoke Smith in 1887. After the Journal supported Presidential candidate Grover Cleveland in the 1892 election, Smith was named as Secretary of the Interior by the victorious Cleveland. Margaret Mitchell worked for the Journal before she wrote her novel Gone With the Wind. In 1922, the Journal founded Atlanta's first radio station, WSB. The radio station and the newspaper were sold in 1939 to James Middleton Cox, founder of what would become Cox Enterprises. The Journal carried the motto "Covers Dixie like the Dew".


Cox Enterprises bought the Constitution in June 1950, bringing both newspapers under one ownership and combining sales and administrative offices. Separate newsrooms were kept until 1982, though both papers continued to be published. The Journal, an afternoon paper, led the morning Constitution until the 1970s, when afternoon papers began to fall out of favor with subscribers. In November 2001, the two papers, which were once fierce competitors, merged to produce one daily morning paper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In 1989, Bill Dedman received the Pulitzer Prize for "The Color of Money," his expose on racial discrimination in mortgage lending, or redlining, by Atlanta banks. [[2] (]. The newspapers' editor, Bill Kovach, had resigned in November 1988 after the stories on banks and others had ruffled feathers in Atlanta. [[3] (]

In 1993, Mike Toner received the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting for "When Bugs Fight Back," his series about organisms and their resistance to antibiotics and pesticides.

In 2003, the AJC launched Access Atlanta to compete with alternative weeklies such as Atlanta's Creative Loafing. Access Atlanta is given away for free in sidewalk newsbins and also appears as an insert in Thursday editions of the AJC.


  • Perry, Chuck. 2004. "Atlanta Journal-Constitution". New Georgia Encyclopedia Georgia Humanities Council. [4] (

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