History

John S. and James L. Knight are icons in Ohio and legends in the history of American journalism and newspapers. Their lives represented the strong journalistic standards of the newspaper era and were devoted to the unique characteristics of each individual community they served. Knight Newspapers grew to be ranked the fifth largest publisher in the country. As Knight Ridder they initially were the largest.

Their strength as publishers can be summed up in John's often quoted editorial policy, "Get the truth and print it."

John S. Knight typingThe papers of John S. and James L. Knight stood for journalistic excellence. John personally won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing on his opposition to the Vietnam War and supporting the freedom of speech of America's college students in his Editor's Notebook columns. Knight Publishing collected 22 Pulitzer Prizes by the time of his retirement.

The Editor's Notebook column was a look into the mind of Jack Knight. It revealed his thinking, philosophy, and politics regarding issues of the world, the state of the nation, and events in his home of Akron, Ohio.

He was respected and consulted by presidents. His fears of becoming a chain of papers, or controlled by outsiders came to fruition during his later years and in the years after his death.

What happened to the Knight standard of excellent journalism and local editorial control in the days of mergers and acquisitions?

Final Edition is a documentary that will illustrate the changing perspective of the newspaper journalism in the face of digital news delivery. It opens in the early 20th Century and continues to the present through the words of Knight in his Editor's Notebook column and interviews with scholars and historians.

Special Thanks

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation The University of Akron