Adrienne Johnson Martin, Executive Editor: MLK 50

Season 1 | Episode 160
39m | Feb 6, 2024

On this episode, we’re joined by Adrienne Johnson Martin. Adrienne is the executive editor at Adrienne has been an editor for more than 30 years for The Los Angeles Times, The Raleigh News and Observer, Duke Magazine, and now MLK50, which she’s been with for 2.5 years. She’s a graduate of Syracuse with a masters from Columbia Journalism.

MLK 50 was founded by Wendi Thomas, a longtime columnist and managing editor at the Memphis Commercial Appeal. It focuses on poverty, power and public policy in Memphis and the systems that make it hard for workers to make ends meet – issues that Martin Luther King cared deeply about.

Adrienne talked about her career path and the many things she learned from her stops on the road to MLK50. She explained how the newsroom measures success not just in the amount of readership, but in how its stories move the community forward. And she talked about her editor’s notes, which are meant to convey a journey of understanding and learning.

She addressed two pieces in particular, one about comments made by actor Jonathan Majors about how his girlfriend should have stood by him like Coretta Scott King and Michele Obama did for their husbands, and another about the idea of starting over when it comes to policing.


Other links

Journalism Salute interview with (now former) MLK50 writer Carrington Tatum

Adrienne’s salute: Lynell George and the Institute for Independent Journalists

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