On August 21st of 2002, the day after the various elections, Rob Redding discussed the aftermath with his callers. At issue, was the defeat of 4th District Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney – who lost in the Democratic Primary to Denise Majette. The show concluded with an interview and caller inquiry of Julia Wallace, the Editor in Chief of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 



For starters, here are some of the many comments made by listeners of the program: 

Caller #190: Atlanta is a majority black city; there’re trying to limit the power of blacks here…and I hope that this is an eye-opener, and we get out and start doing what we need to do, to get the power that we have – and deserve, in this city! 

190 I don’t know; thanks for your phone call! I hope they [the Democrats] do realize that they’ve gotta open their eyes here; and stop flying blind in these primaries! Especially the black Democrats out there – because it’s time to get off the political plantation, it really is! This is getting old; and you’re starting to see [with] these folks again: when they leave the Klan meeting, and they say that they’re a Democrat, or they say that they’re a Republican, that doesn’t mean that they stop being a racist! Caller, you’re up and aboard! 

Darrell: The reason that Cynthia McKinney lost was because of the apathy of the black middle class in DeKalb County, because she don’t walk like, talk like, or think like them. They don’t wanna be associated with anyone like that; so therefore, they don’t want to upset their “good white folk in the mainstream”, and that’s why they didn’t support Cynthia McKinney! But they’re the ones that are gonna pay in the end! I live in the 4th District, and you can rest assured that Denise Majette will not get my vote…and those Republicans are going to get that 4th Congressional seat, as again – we’ve been ran amok by the white Democrats in this political system! 

Yes… 
Darrell: And these middle class black folk, who are too ignorant to see it; and they’re only concerned with their bottom line, well we’re all gonna pay for it in the end! 

I think you’re right! Again, like I said, I’ve been saying this since July of 1999, when I started The Political Critic; the National Association of Non-Political Policy Makers; when I left urban radio…when I became an independent; and when I left the Presidency of The Young Democrats in Fayette County: It’s time to leverage your vote! And you can do that, by joining me with ballot access – getting ballot access in this state. I’m going to have a drive real soon…because at this point, it’s time to have an organization that serves our interests! We’ve got to show the Democrats and show the Republicans that we are a force to be reckoned with in this state! If we don’t do it, this is going to continue to happen! Avery, I finally found you! 

Avery: Yes, I got knocked off [the phone line]…I would like to add, this – I don’t know if anybody was talking about this, but I know, I do remember from The Charles Ross Show: DeKalb County has the highest rate of foreclosures in the history of this country! So all the supporters [Cynthia McKinney] that live over there, we don’t know if they still live there or not! So therefore, because they lost their jobs, and they lost their houses, and we don’t know if they got evicted – that’s the reason why they couldn’t contribute or do anything to help Cynthia McKinney. Because, when I found out that she raised only $600,000, I said to myself, “What happened over there?” I mean c’mon, you tryin’ to operate a campaign on a shoestring budget, it [‘s] just not gonna work, you know what I mean? 

Right! Right! Exactly! 

Avery: And you know, also the predatory lending. You know, everybody knows, mean and you both know, that the largest turnout for voting is the elderly people; and a lot of elderly people are losing their homes, you know what I’m saying? 

That’s Right! 

Avery: And another point I want to make is redistricting: we just added on two more districts to the state of Georgia, you know what I’m saying… 

Those are all factors, but again, a lot of these precincts never got past 50% on the average… 

Avery: Right, so people didn’t know who they were going to vote for because of redistricting, you know what I’m saying… 

Are you saying…? Well, that’s on the citizens to educate themselves though, on where they should be, and when they should be there and what time. That is inexcusable, Avery! Thanks for your phone call! Eric, you’re up and aboard! 

Eric: How’s it going Rob? 

Fine, and you?



Eric: This Cynthia McKinney thing, I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, but the bottom line is, Cynthia McKinney’s mouth got her in trouble! Those comments about 9-11 did her in, period! That, and the fact that nobody wanted to vote for her! I don’t care about how much the Jewish lobby is involved in it; I don’t care how much money people spent on it – the bottom line is, if we wanted Cynthia McKinney to be in office, she would be in office this morning…pure plain and simple! 

Exactly! 

Eric: Don’t call in complaining about the Jewish lobby, and the money and the outside interests! Everybody has one vote…if you put all this black people that wanted Cynthia McKinney back in office, she’d be in office this morning… 

And the election wasn’t even close, Eric… thank you for your call! Dexter, you’re up and aboard! 

Dexter: I always agree with Avery, most of the time; I really do…I love that brother. This is one of those times… 

Yeah, he’s a little off base on this one… 

Dexter: But respectfully, I respect that brother…I really do…Rob, you know where I fell on the election – okay; I have know problem with sayin’ I probably voted for Majette this time. And I had to [have] held my nose to do it, because…I have always voted for McKinney. But the last two days, with those two phone calls. And then when I drive by Panola, and see those two signs…and I know for a fact that the people from her campaign [were] the people who put those out, I thought that was a little distasteful. I don’t think those 9-1-1 comments did her in – at all. I don’t. 

You don’t think so? I think that made her a target, nationally. 

Dexter: That made her a target. It made her a target just like John McCain; because if you remember, John McCain mentioned something like that last year, and the press wore him out, tremendously (about the same thing), okay… 

Not quite as much as McKinney! 

Dexter: Not quite as much as McKinney, 

But I guess the jury’s still out on that; he still has to be re-elected! 

Dexter: Yeah, yeah…that’s true, that’s true. We’ll see if the same scenario plays out! But Rob, there were a lot of black voters, Rob, well over 30% that voted for Majette, out of South DeKalb, Rob. 

Well, I know! 

Dexter: I mean, and no one, not Tyrone [Brooks], not Bill Campbell in the morning (and that was the first time I listened to his show, Rob), none of the McKinney supporters (and all due respect to you guys, you ran a hell of a race, you did – seriously)…look at the numbers. Even if Denise pulled 20,000 from North DeKalb, and 10,000 from Gwinnett, she still had to have come and swept South DeKalb with 30% or more…that means, not only did she cut into your base, down there, that means that a lot of people in South DeKalb said to heck with it, you know, “We just don’t like what’s going on!” 

The numbers were purely against her. 

Dexter: The numbers were against her! Because she [Majette] had a tremendous lead, she had already won the election – when you get to around 106 precincts (counting in DeKalb County), you already hit South DeKalb at 107; at 110, she picked up more votes. Which means, at larger precincts…those [votes] that had already come in, either she had split them, or she had beaten them in those precincts! Do the math, people! 

Which is why we were able to break the story so early; nearly 45 minutes ahead of the major press associations, and newspapers, that Majette had won the election at 11:23 p.m.; or whatever time it was! 

Dexter: And let me say something else, Rob, before I go (now you and I both being native Atlantians) – we truly know what’s kind of at fault here, if the McKinney supporters want to blame someone: 1) you have no one else to blame but yourself! For years, (and I’m not blaming Cynthia) you’ve got people on the periphery of your campaign, like the Tyrone Brooks and the Billy McKinney who have been taking money from the Democratic Party and delivering it your votes to them – mindlessly! Every two to four years, they’ve done this! Okay? 

Right. 

Dexter: And this has given the Democratic Party excuse to do what they did! As they say on the streets, “The sugar was flowin’!” 

Right, Dex! Gotta go! All right, I’ve been waiting for this one, all day: Lily, you’re up and aboard! The Thinking Democrat, give us some analysis here! 

Lily: Of course, I was very disappointed…and I wanted to say a couple of things before I speak about that…I want to ask Dex, did not Majette deliver his vote to the same party also? I’m just asking…he said something about people “bein’ busy delivering your vote to the Democratic Party”, or something like that. But anyway, I wanted to ask him – did not Majette deliver votes to the same Party? Anyway, what I wanted to ask you is have you read the current edition of The Amsterdam News? 

Yes I have; about Lenora Fulani? 

Lily: No, no – about the whole editorial page, and Alton Maddox? 

Oh!! I saw it; I didn’t get the chance to read the whole thing! 

Lily: Well, it’s some interesting reading. The other thing I had to say is on Ms. White’s show today, you had an excellent analyst – his name was Dr. Wilson (I believe it was), he’s from CAU [Clark-Atlanta University]…I think he teaches political science or something; but I suggest that he teaches that lesson well to his students, when they come back in the Fall. And also, I would hope that the faculty takes that course from him – because I thought he was extremely sophisticated - and very good! Now, what I have to say about what happened with the election – I thought it would have been closer than what it was, but it wasn’t…but I think what happened, it was a failure to read properly. And listen to what I say, because read properly – and cut hoops between the White House, the State House, and outside targeted money… 

By who? 

Lily: By the Republican Party, and outside targeted money from AIPAC…I’m not afraid to say that! 

Okay, well…are you saying the Democrats failed to read that, are you saying the Republicans failed to read that, or people in general? 

Lily: I think the Democrats might’ve failed to read it (some of them), and I the African American voters in the 4th District failed to read it properly. And the next thing I think happened was political naivety…amongst African American voters; I saw the strategy from the get-go, what the Republicans were doing. I figured, that the Republicans – if they got McKinney out, they would have Majette, who thinks like a Republican anyway – in my opinion… 

Well…I don’t even think Majette’s going to make it in! 

Lily: Oh well, then that’s the rest of my analogy! And if she doesn’t make it, they’re going to get a Republican person to represent that district. 

Mmmmmm… 

Lily: And I also say to you and the family out there – Catherine Davis, who is running as a black Republican…I’m wondering if they (the voters of Cynthia McKinney) are going to support her…. 

Probably not! I think they’ll just stay home! 

Lily: Yeah, that’s what I’m thinking; and Majette cannot expect to get votes from 75% of those who oppose her. 

Oh, absolutely not!! Oh, absolutely not!! It won’t happen! I think people will stay home; I think that, at this point, it’s going to be a wash, and the Republicans will take that seat! 

Lily: This is what I saw in the beginning – it was a grand design, so it was a win-win situation for them. And my other point, to me (it was very important) – was the historical fashion in which the big boys take out representatives, people from office, who think like the African American community. Their historical way of doing this, has been to use audacious power – to defeat the ones in there, who think as you do…first they smear you, then they demonize you, and they remove you from power! 

It worked very effectively, Lily!

Lily: It did, it did. And this is why I could see it, but I was just hoping other people would see it also. But I don’t think enough of the voters, who are of African American descent, thought through that whole situation there. There was a whole schema there, that I don’t think they [the voters] thought it through. Now the voter turnout, as I agree with what Dr. Wilson said, that was far down the pecking order. I think it had less importance than the other factors…that’s my opinion. 

Lily… thanks for your phone call, as always! 

Lily: Yeah, and thank you…this is why I kept asking the question from everybody, what do you think this bodes for us? The Republicans, the White House, and the powers-that-be are in cahoots on several of the other African American officials…they’re already crowing, that they got two out of three…and the next one they’re targeting is Sheila Jackson Lee! 

Everybody’s got 30 seconds to get their last two cents in on Cynthia McKinney and Denise Majette! But I wanna get everybody aboard – Starr, Wayne – all have been holding so patiently, I wanna get them all aboard…but this guest, you’ll want to hear from, and you don’t want to shortchange this guest – she’s going to need the entire hour! You don’t know what I have planned for you, trust me folks! Bear with me, on this! Thirty seconds for everybody, Starr – you’re up and aboard! 

Starr: Thanks Rob – for opening my eyes…if black people don’t see what’s happening now, about the race with Majette and Cynthia McKinney, then you won’t see anything! But I am an independent now, and I live in the 4th District, and what I won’t forget is how the Democratic Party left her out there to hang; that’s what I have a problem with! And the independent revolution is on, in DeKalb County! Thank you! 

Starr, thank you for your phone call! You see folks, like I told you on the exclusive, on the website - last night, down at the McKinney headquarters: folks are really starting to think in the African American community, about being independent…after this fiasco with this election! Wayne…you’re up and aboard! 

Wayne: Yeah, Rob…listen, you all don’t read too much into this! Much like Bob Barr, Cynthia McKinney made herself radioactive…you want the Democratic Party to stand up behind the kind of stunts, and some of the things she’s pulled, along with the Nation of Islam, and the near-riot that was going on outside of her headquarters; where she picked up homeless people and promised them $100! That’s not really the way I see politics being run! If you want to blame anything on anybody, you should blame the candidate! Cynthia McKinney shot herself in the foot, the same way her father did! And beyond that – one other thing, you don’t think up here, in the 7th District, that a lot of us didn’t cross over and vote against Bob Barr, do ya? We wanted that big mouth out of the way too! Because, you know, there’s one thing about being a politician: you’re much better off if you act quietly and carry a big stick, rather than showin’ off and getting your face on TV all the time, and getting negative publicity!! And that’s what both of those candidates did, so they both got what they deserved…. 

All right, Wayne; you’re entitled to your opinion – thank you for your phone call! Bob, you’re up and aboard! 

Bob: The answer to some of this is out on the DeKalb County elections website, regarding the returns. The margin of victory seems to be 14,000 votes. What will be interesting tomorrow is when DeKalb County releases the precinct counts. I tend to think, what we’re going to see is that most of these votes that came for Majette were out of heavily past-Republican districts. I don’t think McKinney blew it, as everybody likes to say…I think more so it was just an agenda to get her out. If they’ve discovered this as a formula… 

An agenda to get her out? So you think, you’re saying, that these people somehow rigged this vote? 

Bob: No, I’m not even saying rigged; it’s not about rigging – a strategy has been developed that is pretty effective: don’t run a Republican candidate against a Democrat in the primary; find some weak Democrat to run against her… 

But they are running a Republican against a Democrat! Of course, you don’t run against each other in your primaries – you run in your respective primaries and then meet in the general election! 

Bob: I understand that! But I’m saying – if you want to get the stronger Democrat out, run a weak one; have Republicans vote Democratic…if you go out to the website, then you’ll see what I’m saying! 

Oh, you’re saying the strategy of having Republicans crossover, or Democrats crossover – people have been doing that for a while, Bob; thank you for your phone call! The person that I’m bringing to the show now…to talk to you…it’s enough talking about this…it’s enough talking about the fact that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, whatever you call it – the hometown rag, The Atlanta Urinal and Constipation, whatever you call your local newspaper! …. The woman that I’m bringing into the studio is the top editor, the top news executive at the Atlanta Journal-constitution! I figured that it was time to stop talking about what supposedly…our paper is doing to our community – This is what they’re doing…this is what they do Rob…you don’t understand, the AJC…Rob you don’t understand the AJC this, the AJC…well, I said, you know what – let’s put a cap on this (like a Bill Campbell)…let’s put a cap on this conversation. And let’s invite The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Editor, the Top Editor… she is in the studio with us. She was just named to the post, on July 1st, and her name is Julia Wallace! Hello Ms. Wallace, how are you doing? 

Julia Wallace: Thank you, and good afternoon! 

Our special guest is the Top News Executive at The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Julia Wallace. She succeeded Ron Martin, who will retain his position as Senior Editor at Cox Newspapers, but will no longer be involved in the daily operations of the AJC. John Walter, the Executive Editor, resigned and planned to leave the paper. Walter was with the newspaper for 13 years, and was ranked 2nd highest behind Martin! Now some have called this decision [to promote you] a shake-up. As a matter of fact, your rival, Ms. Wallace – the Creative Loafing newspaper, in an article dated May 29, 2002 – points out that you were the number three editorial boss, and you had only been there for 17 months…and now you’re top dog! On top of that, under Ron Martin’s tenure, daily circulation plunged 22%, and Sunday’s subscriptions headed south 8% in the last half of his reign. Put in another way, few people – well over a million, have moved to [Metro] Atlanta…just a few, just a few people…but the AJC has not capitalized on the fact that new people are moving here, and now you’ve got…old-time readers leaving the paper! Now what I wanted to talk to you about is, what is the philosophy you that you’re bringing to the paper that’s going to change the problems with the paper, and the percentage of circulation decline? Now that’s the story in general, with the industry, just being a reporter with The Macon Telegraph, I know that; but what philosophy are you bringing to stem the tide here, in that decline? 

Julia Wallace: I think you raise a really good issue – this isn’t just the story in Atlanta, but a story of around the country. Fewer people are reading the newspaper, but they’re still getting our news – our circulation has been…ah, flat, or slightly up for the past couple of years…but online, www.ajc.com - everyday, new people are turning to it. And so we think there’s some real potential online; uh…I think there’s some potential in print, as well…make it as interesting as possible. We saw some gains in the fall…big news story, and that really captivated readers. I think there’s some work we could do there. 

What are some of the specific problems here? 

Julia Wallace: I think the biggest issue for us – you see it in other major metros, but it’s a bigger issue here – is connection to the core. I came from Phoenix, most recently…similar sized metro area, but half the people who lived in the metro area lived in the city. Here, only 10% do. And so one of our big challenges is, how do you be a relevant paper for a pretty diverse population, in every way. 

Now, I know from inside sources, that you really do pander to Cobb County, and Cobb County’s one of those areas where the paper – in all seriousness – has realized that there is a lot of readership there, there’s a lot of potential growth in that market…how have you…heh-heh…avoided being termed The Cobb County Journal-Constitution, versus The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, because it seems like when you’re talking about community issues in Atlanta – the paper doesn’t get those in, quite as high, or above the fold, in the rack car? 

Julia Wallace: I think if you talk to the people in Cobb County, they would have the opposite view; that we cover Atlanta too extensively. I think one of our challenges, is that if you look at the metro area; you basically have four big counties – which basically have over a quarter of a million residents each. We’ve got to be in all four of those places as well as occasionally be in the outlying counties, as well. 

Now, when you say four big areas, what are those areas? 

Julia Wallace: Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb, and Gwinnett. 

Okay…those are the areas that are considered large markets for you…you said “the core”, not enough connection with the core, what does that mean? 

Julia Wallace: What that means is, that ultimately, you want to be able to write a story that everybody relates to. And, if I live in Fayette County, and I only come into the city of Atlanta once a year, then I feel a lot differently and have a lot different interests – than someone who lives in the city, works in the city, and is connected to it. And what local news is to those two people is very different. 

Now, you mentioned Cobb County says you might cover Atlanta too much – are you trying to make more efforts to cover Cobb County? 

Julia Wallace: I wouldn’t single out Cobb…I think we are looking at our zone sections, and if we’re doing the right mix of local news throughout the suburban areas. 

I know we’ve got a phone call – Greg, you’re up and aboard! 

Greg: Hey, how are you doing? 

Fine! And you? 

Greg: All right! 

Julia Wallace: Hey Greg! 

Greg: Uh, for example, it seems like to me, as long as it’s Caucasian, they get the prime yardage and the position in each section of the paper! For instance, let Morehouse or Morris Brown play a football game, Georgia Tech may be in North Carolina, but the front page of the sports section will have Georgia Tech up there! And those schools are in the city of Atlanta. You take our high schools, and they always treat them the same way: it’s always Parkview, Wheeler…but the core teams are from Atlanta, and they still get misrepresented when you cover them in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution…and that’s not right! 

…I guess you can attempt to answer that Ms. Wallace…go ahead… 

Julia Wallace: Uh…on colleges, I think you’ve got to look at how many people attend games, how many people watch ‘em on TV…and…obviously, it’s a progression. On high schools, you know…we cover the winning teams, frankly, more than other teams… 

So, you’re saying inner city teams don’t win as much; and so, they don’t get above the fold? 

Julia Wallace: Well…actually, I’m sort of interested in if that’s right…and I don’t think I’ve looked at that. 

How many black sports reporters do you have? 

Julia Wallace: …I don’t know…quite a few – Terrence Moore’s a black sports columnist; John Hallice covers Georgia Tech for us; Curtis Bunn…a column, doing preps… 

All these people that you have – are they familiar with the metro, or are they transplants…? 

Julia Wallace: A combination. When you look at front-page stories, they’re going through a pretty elaborate editing process. 

But you really have to trust the reporter, in that the reporter’s doing an accurate job. 

Julia Wallace: Absolutely! 

But let me ask you this – in terms of placement, not just about stories – I’ve noticed the Farrakhan story (about the Bush comments – “being drunk with power.”) – that was pretty low in the paper. The reparations rally story was inside the paper, the day of the rally, then low in the paper, the next day; with the Concerned Black Clergy…they picketed outside the AJC, but the paper didn’t cover it. What do you say to those who say that the AJC is a racist rag? 

Julia Wallace: I disagree with that, obviously. I think that we work very hard to cover all sections of the community, and express views in all sorts of ways, on both – our news pages, and our editorial pages…and frankly, you know…I hear from both sides, that this is a racist rag… 

Really? Wow…tell me about the other side. 

Julia Wallace: Okay…! 

Please!! 

Julia Wallace: We have a public editor, who will get calls all the time, “You clearly are only writing for the black community…I’m a longtime white resident…why don’t you write about me anymore?” I’ve been in the newspaper business to know that, the reality is…it’s a pretty diverse world; and you’ve got to satisfy an awful lot of people. 

Why take these stories, and not write about them? 

Julia Wallace: That was a fairly small group of people…complaining about a story we wrote, about Maynard Jackson; there are a lot of protests we don’t cover… 

Against your paper, you never cover? Against your organization…you’re the newspaper – of record… 

Julia Wallace: But there are people who follow Roy Barnes around, in protest of the flag – and we never cover them… 

Isn’t that a lot different than the newspaper, though? 

Julia Wallace: Well, I don’t know…I mean, at what moment does a protest rise above something you put in the paper? 

How about the placement of the Farrakhan and reparations stories? Those were big stories nationally, not big stories here in the metro? 

Julia Wallace: ….I think we played them pretty comparably to other papers around the country. 

You’re hiring new editors at the AJC…I know you’ve hired a few…why? What happened to the old editors, and where are the new ones coming from? 

Julia Wallace: We’ve done a little hiring…we’ve just named two managing editors – one who is from the internal [organization], who’s been here for about 14 years, and has worked his way up from the business reporting – James Mallory; the other, joins us from The Philadelphia Inquirer – Hank Klibanoff – where he was Deputy Managing Editor, and has a lot of great experience. And I think that both of them are going to be a really great addition to our team. 

Let’s get to Bernard – you’re up and aboard with Julia Wallace of the AJC! 

Bernard: Good afternoon to you, Rob, and your guest. First of all, I would like to say, I am one of those people that believes that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is extremely biased against the black community – as far as it’s reporting. It’s a very conservative paper. And one more comment, then I’ve got a question: if we look at the McKinney/Majette coverage, it was obvious the paper endorsed Majette, and obviously its coverage was biased…they were pretty much an advertisement for Republicans crossing over, running that on a front page story, on a top slot – which was much more than I think that story deserved, it actually created a story. But my question is, would you consider firing such biased editors such as Cynthia Tucker, in order to increase your profile among black people – who obviously have some hostility toward your paper, based on these calls? 

Julia Wallace: Umm…I’m actually a little surprised by your comments…because I think that the perception of the community generally, is that we are more liberal than the community. And in fact, if you look at a lot of our endorsements, they tend to be in that direction. And then, if you look at the history of the paper, this paper was one of the first Southern papers out front on civil rights…it’s a strong part of what this paper is. And as for Cynthia – I gotta tell ya – I think she does a great job! I think she’s courageous, I think she’s tough, I think she’s not afraid to say things that people don’t want to hear…I think she does a great job. 

Estelle, you’re up and aboard! 

Estelle: Hi! Mr. Redding? 

Yes! 

Estelle: I’d like to preface my question with a comment – I think (Ms. Wallace, with all due respect for you, and I appreciate the fact that you have been selected for your position), that African Americans here in Atlanta and the Metro Atlanta area, need to cancel their subscriptions to your paper. Now with that said, have you been placed out here in the forefront today, to kind of head-off some of the criticisms the newspaper will get for the hatchet job it did on Cynthia McKinney? 

I asked her to come, and it was before I realized that it was the day after the primaries. 

Estelle: Okay. And I’ll hang-up. I believe she’s been placed out here today to kind of blunt some of the forces, for the hatchet job they did on Ms. McKinney. 

Well, you can believe what you want to believe, but we did schedule this; we’ve been working on this interview for how long now? 

Julia Wallace: A couple of weeks. 

A couple of weeks! And we just happened to choose the day after the primary! 

Julia Wallace: It’s not a conspiracy. 

Okay! It’s not a conspiracy folks, it really isn’t! Lee, you’re up and aboard! 

Lee: Okay, my question for the editor is – who decides who the paper will support, politically? 

Julia Wallace: We have an editorial board – Cynthia Tucker is the head of that board; there’s a pretty diverse group of people…they go through an interview process; they talk to the candidates, they have questionnaires, they really take a look at their voting records – and based on that, make a decision on who they want to endorse. 

Good question, very good question. Let’s go to Jennifer, who’s been holding patiently. 

Jennifer: Yes, Ms. Wallace – thank you for coming on the show. I’d like to know, concerning some of our black leaders that you write stories about - do you have adequate information? And the stories that you write about some of our black political leaders…is the information true? 

Julia Wallace: We work really hard to verify all the information; and truth is an important part of what we do. 

Have you been sued for a Bill Campbell story yet? 

Julia Wallace: No. 

Have you been sued for a Maynard Jackson story yet? 

Julia Wallace: No. 

That’s generally one of the defenses of some of these stories being incorrect. Dexter, you’re up and aboard! 

Dexter: How do yaw go about determining what is truth and what is opinion? A lot of times I read an article, and it’s an opinion piece…for example, the Marvin Arrington/Bill Campbell Mayoral Race a few years ago – there was a reporter, can’t think of the brother’s name, but, he was writing a piece, and at the very end of it, Rob - he was like, well, “Voters will probably decide, that the best vote for them is Bill Campbell.” That was a piece of opinion that should not have slipped into the paper… 

Editorializing is what it’s called; we’ve talked about that…how are you handling that? What philosophy are you bringing, and how are you handling the editorializing that does goes on from time to time, and gets past the copy desk? 

Julia Wallace: I think there are three categories, if you think about it – on the one hand, they are facts, this is actual information; on the other side there is editorializing, which we really work hard to try and get out; that middle ground is really that…what do you include, and what do you not include – that is context, what one person would say is context, what another person would say is unnecessary detail. And that is the sort of gray area where I think we can all have conversations, about the decisions we make. As far as what I want to do, I want to make the paper interesting enough so that you talk about us everyday… 

Now…how…that can be a good thing, that can be a bad thing… 

Julia Wallace: Ha-ha!! 

To make the folks listening believe that you are serious – I know you’re serious about coming on; and bringing in a new era…you’ve redesigned the top of the newspaper, in terms of management…especially being the first female… 

Julia Wallace: Right, and we also have the first African American managing editor… 

Wow! What’s his name? 

Julia Wallace: James Mallory. 

James Mallory; and how long has he been there? 

Julia Wallace: He just got promoted; he was a deputy managing editor. 

So, how can people get in contact with you, if they have problems with the paper? 

Julia Wallace: They can email me, at jdwallace@ajc.com. 

Okay! I thank you, very much Ms. Wallace, for coming to the show…because I know, this is the first time we’ve had any of the editors come to the station. We hear so much about the coverage, but again…I keep telling these people…having worked at a newsroom – a real newsroom, at The Macon Telegraph…and seeing decisions be made, and seeing how things can shake out the next day, the calls that you get, the emails that you get, that again – unless you see something (some large protest outside, unless you see some lawsuit come in) pretty much, you just keep plugging along! And these issues are pretty cut and dry! And people don’t believe some of these Bill Campbell stories that they’re reading; they don’t believe in some of these stories on blacks they’re reading…the only question I have is on placement of where we’re placing the stories – like when Farrakhan comes to Atlanta; like the fact that we didn’t cover the Concerned Black Clergy that was outside The Atlanta Journal-Constitution; those are the only things I have questions for, and I thank you again, and I will really be pressing you to pass a message to Cynthia Tucker…that we would like to have her on the program! 

Julia Wallace: Okay, I’ll pass that along. 

Because she answers to you, right? 

Julia Wallace: I don’t think she answers to anyone… 

Oh…well she’s you’re subordinate… 

Julia Wallace: Well, I want to thank you; it’s been great. I really do think we want to hear from folks and figure out how to make a better paper. We do it everyday, so we can learn from what we’ve done.