PNC Honors Blacks in Media: Stan Washington Journalism Pioneer from WCLK to AABJ
PNC Bank Celebrates Atlanta’s Black History in Media: Stan Washington grew up in Southwest Atlanta near Mozley Park. A graduate of Turner High School, Washington, was known as “H. Rap,” a self-proclaimed “black activist” he played football and was editor of the student newspaper. In 1974 as a student at Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University, Washington joined WCLK as their second news director. This was the first black-owned FM station and the first jazz station in Atlanta. Washington is proudest of WCLK “breaking” the news about the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s mother. They shared this story with national wire services taking WCLK around the world. A founding member of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, Washington has mentored many professional journalists in our community today. This Black History Month moment is brought to you by PNC Bank, committed to Diversity and support of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Stan Washington is a native of Atlanta who grew up in the Mozley Park neighborhood. A graduate of Turner High School, Washington not only played football but was also the editor of the school paper. At Clark College, now CAU, he honed his journalism skills as the first news director at the WCLK. Stan Washington is a senior editor at the Atlanta Voice.
I asked Washington how he knew at an early age that journalism was for him, and he spoke about wanting to be a professional ball player. Washington speaks about joining the WCLK team. He stuttered and didn’t consider being on the air but loved the behind-the-scenes action of radio.
Washington shared how WCLK came to break the news regarding the death of Alberta Williams King, the mother of Martin Luther King, Jr. He shared that phone calls had come from a colleague's mother. They raced from the CAU campus to Ebenezer and were the first news team on the scene. Their story and photographs went out on the news wires taking the breaking news and WCLK worldwide.
A founding member of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists, Washington has prepared young journalists for positions all over the nation.
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For more information on the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists