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.
What is your dream on the 50th anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech? #dreamday— Steve Harvey ( @IAmSteveHarvey) August 28, 2013
I have a dream that our country will be great again! #DreamDay— Donald J. Trump ( @realDonaldTrump) August 28, 2013
Today we are remembering #MLK ‘s dream of equality and kindness, & hope you continue to practice this daily. #dreamday— Jonas Brothers ( @JonasBrothers) August 28, 2013
@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:
How are you #AdvancingTheDream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? Share with us at http://t.co/itbVRaKgDx #MOW50 @msnbc pic.twitter.com/gOKrAYQy62— Andrea Mitchell ( @mitchellreports) August 28, 2013
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:
What does Dr. King’s “Dream” mean to you in three words? Tweet me your photos or email us ABC.WorldNews@abc.com— Diane Sawyer ( @DianeSawyer) August 28, 2013
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 March on Washington’s goals span more than segregation. They also focus on jobs, among other things.— Today in 1963 ( @todayin1963) August 28, 2013
The events were a reason for news organizations to showcase their extensive archives from that tumultuous year. Here’s one example from the @TheBuffaloNews:
From the archives: Here’s how the Buffalo Evening News covered the March on Washington 50 years ago pic.twitter.com/zbLGsuii0U— The Buffalo News ( @TheBuffaloNews) August 28, 2013
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.