‘I Have a Dream’ 50th Anniversary Commemoration Coverage Plans

By Chris Ariens 

As the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream speech” gets underway tomorrow morning, much of the ceremony will be covered live on cable news channels and streamed on news sites, while select portions will also be carried live on the broadcast networks. Here are the plans, so far:


Scott Pelley will lead CBS News’ live coverage. The Network’s coverage begins on “CBS This Morning” with extensive reports on the anniversary, including a live report from Pelley in Washington, D.C. Pelley will anchor CBS News’ live coverage of Pres. Obama’s remarks on Wednesday afternoon. He’ll be joined by CBS News Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett, CBS News Correspondent Jeff Pegues from the National Mall, and presidential historian and CBS News Consultant Douglas Brinkley from Washington, D.C. Pelley will also anchor the Evening News” from Washington, D.C.



ABC News and Yahoo! News will host a first-ever live global broadcast to commemorate the speech. This hybrid digital-television event will be anchored by George Stephanopoulos along with Dan Kloeffler from ABC News World Headquarters in New York beginning at 11a.m. Cokie Roberts and Harvard Law Professor Charles Ogletree will provide insights and historical context from ABC News Headquarters in New York. Chief National Correspondent and Anchor Byron Pitts will lead the network’s coverage from the Lincoln Memorial. Linsey Davis will join him there. Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas will report from Washington. Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila will report from the White House. ABC is incorporating the hash tag #IMarchFor


CNN will observe the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the March with a rare re-broadcast of the “I Have a Dream” speech. The address from five decades ago will air in its entirety. The day’s coverage will be hosted by CNN anchor Don Lemon, with live reporting from correspondents Joe Johns and Athena Jones in the crowds gathered on the National Mall to participate in the events, and commentary from CNN Crossfire host, Van Jones and contributions from CNN’s Donna Brazile.


Chris Matthews anchors live from the National Mall throughout the day beginning at 11amET. Following President Obama’s remarks at approximately 4pmET, MSNBC will present Dr. King’s entire “I Have a Dream” speech. And, Chris Hayes will host a special “All In” at 8pmET live from Washington. MSNBC anchors and correspondents will share their own reflections on the civil rights movement. MSNBC is using the Twitter hash tag #AdvancingtheDream.


Award-winning journalist Marc Lamont Hill will anchor coverage starting at 2pmET. The BET News special, “50: AMERICA SALUTES THE DREAM,” will broadcast speeches scheduled to be delivered by Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama. Plus, other notable speakers, performances and the ‘Let Freedom Ring’ bell-ringing events at 3pm commemorating Dr. King’s famous address.


Fox News will provide live, continuous coverage beginning with the speeches being delivered by members of Martin Luther King Jr.’s family through President Obama’s remarks. Shannon Bream will anchor with Kelly Wright and Doug McKelway contributing.


Beginning at 11amET, NBCNews.com will live-stream the event. Then, at 2pmET, NBCNews.com will stream a fully-produced digital broadcast anchored by Lester Holt live from the Lincoln Memorial, joined by NBC News political director and chief White House correspondent Chuck Todd and NBC News contributor Charlayne Hunter-Gault. At approximately 2:40pm ET, coverage of President Obama’s remarks will be carried live on the NBC broadcast network. At 6:30pm ET, Holt will anchor “NBC Nightly News” from Washington, DC with additional coverage of the anniversary and the day’s events. NBC News is using the hashtag #DreamDay