The News Honors Julia Scott Reed, Its First Black, Full-time Journalist

The late newswoman Julia Scott Reed would have loved that a conference room at The Dallas Morning News, where she made history, has been named in her honor.The News named a number of conference rooms after accomplished Texas journalists when it moved last December from Young Street to its new location in the old Dallas library at 1954 Commerce St. Some the building's other rooms were named for stand-outs including former CBS News anchor Dan Rather, former editor Vivian Castleberry and Blackie Sherrod, the legendary sports editor. The News dedicated Reed's room Feb. 27 with News staff and some of Reed's family and friends attending.Julia — the name I called her as my friend and mentor — became The News' first full-time black journalist when the newspaper hired her in 1967 during the height of the civil rights movement. She wrote "The Open Line" column three times a week, covering happenings and people in Dallas' black community.Reed worked during a time devastating race riots were hitting major U.S. cities, Detroit, Los Angeles and Newark, N.J. Former President Lyndon Johnson set up the Kerner Commission to discover why the riots occurred and how to curb them. The News hired Julia while the commission investigated, and indeed the eventual Kerner Report hit a nerve.The report — which marked its 50th anniversary this year — cited the media's paltry coverage of people who are not white as a strong cause of the civil unrest. Media outlets then began hiring more people of different races.  Continue reading...

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