The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta’s only daily print news outlet, completely skipped coverage of this year’s Atlanta Pride festival in its print edition. Atlanta Pride drew tens of thousands of people to Piedmont Park and was celebrating its 40th anniversary Oct. 8-10.
In an e-mail exchange with AJC’s Public Editor Shawn McIntosh, GA Voice reader Mike Canfield takes the newspaper to task for failing to cover one of the city’s largest annual festivals in its print edition.
“200,000 people, yes, two hundred thousand people came to Atlanta and had a good time and spent a lot of money and NOT ONE WORD in today’s paper,” Canfield wrote in an e-mail Oct. 11. “Not One?”
McIntosh responded, saying that the AJC sent photographers and published their photos online but that the coverage was “overlooked” in the print edition of the paper.
“We were there and even shot a lot of photos, which ran online,” McIntosh responded. “Unfortunately, the coverage somehow got overlooked in print. Sorry.”
The AJC did, in fact, run a photo gallery from the festival, but only eight images made it online. In contrast, we took more than 2,000 pictures (of which several hundred have been uploaded already) during the weekend.
“Sorry? You have no idea how livid I was when I wrote that letter. “Sorry” doesn’t cut it. “Sorry” is so shallow as to be an insult. “Somehow got overlooked” is an inexcusable reply.”
We reached out to McIntosh for additional comment, but our call was directed to after-hours voice mail.
James Parker Sheffield, executive director of Atlanta Pride, said today he was “absolutely shocked” there was no print coverage in the AJC.
“The parade [on Sunday] is the largest on-street event in the city and the state. I’m absolutely shocked,” he said. Sheffield added press releases went out to each local media outlet, including the AJC, with pitches for its 40th anniversary informing them of the event, when it was taking place and how to contact them for story ideas.
NBC affiliate 11 Alive News did include a live streaming video of the entire parade on its web page.