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Leroy Chapman Jr. Becomes 1st Black Editor Named to Lead Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday, named Leroy Chapman Jr. its new editor-in-chief, becoming the first black editor to run the paper in its 155-year history.

Chapman, 52, has been in journalism for nearly three decades and has spent the last 12 years at the Journal-Constitution, where he has served as Editor-in-Chief since 2021.

Editor Andrew Morse said he was proud the paper had found the best person for the job.

Leroy Chapman Jr. Becomes 1st Black Editor Named to Lead Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“There’s truly nobody better suited to lead this newsroom,” Morse said in an interview, adding: “He has the respect of the newsroom, he is an innovative thinker, and he has the highest journalistic standard that you could imagine.”

Chapman will lead a news team that serves more than 125,000 print and digital subscribers and approximately 6 million monthly unique visitors online, according to the paper. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is owned by Cox Enterprises, a private company.

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The newspaper’s history dates back to 1868, when the Atlanta Constitution published its first issue three years after the end of the Civil War. One of its best-known editors, Ralph McGill, wrote columns openly criticizing racial inequality in the 1940s and 1950s, drawing anger and threats from segregationists.

Chapman joined magazine writing in 2011 as cover editor and worked his way up to editor-in-chief, Newsroom Leader #2, over the next decade.

He takes the helm at a difficult time for the shrinking newspaper industry, as regional and local newspapers struggle to find strong online audiences to offset advertisers’ shift from print to digital.

Leroy Chapman Jr. Becomes 1st Black Editor Named to Lead Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Morse credited Chapman with playing a pivotal role in the Journal-Constitution overseeing coverage of important stories such as investigating the severe shortage of affordable housing in Atlanta and attempts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to influence Georgia’s results.

In his new job, Chapman will oversee teams responsible for expanded digital offerings such as email newsletters and the true-crime podcast Breakdown, which is in its ninth season.

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