The Atlanta Daily World is the nation’s oldest daily African-American newspaper. Alexis Scott is not only the descendant of the paper’s founder, William Alexander (W.A.) Scott, she was the “World’s” publisher for 17 years.
Alexis Scott shared the local institution’s history in a conversation with Lois Reitzes on “City Lights.” Originally “The Atlanta World,” the paper launched as a weekly in 1928 and became a daily publication in 1932. Along the way, W.A. Scott grew his empire with an aggressive business acumen, creating the nation’s first news syndicate – black or white.
W. A. Scott was killed on his front porch after returning from a business trip to Havana, Cuba in 1934. He was only 32 years old. The murderer’s identity remains a mystery to this day. Following his brother’s death, W. A. Scott’s brother Cornelius Adolphus (C. A.) took over the paper, until his retirement in 1997. Alexis Scott became the “World’s” publisher in 1997.
Today, “The Atlanta Daily World” is no longer strictly a family business. In the midst of the great recession and already facing dwindling subscriptions, the paper joined “Real Times Inc.” in 2012. Alexis continued on as publisher until 2014.
Given her decades of experience in journalism and publishing, Lois Reitzes asked Alexis what she thinks the role of a community-specific newspaper in today’s world is – and if there is still a need for such publications, for any community. Alexis had no doubts:
“Oh, Absolutely. I think so. To me, it’s like a caucus voice. It’s a group that can talk about what the issues are of particular concern to that particular group, and look at solutions, look at ways to fix things and speak to each other in a way that each member of the caucus group can understand.”