The Philosophy of the Knight Newspapers – Knight Foundation

The Philosophy of the Knight Newspapers


Philosophy, broadly construed, is the love of wisdom.

In application, it is the science which investigates general facts and principles of reality and of human nature and conduct.

As it pertains to journalism, philosophy embraces the general principles in a specific field of knowledge and dedication to a particular system of ethics.

The Knight philosophy of newspaper publishing, as evolved through the years, centers upon these basic points:

1. The Knight newspapers strive to meet the highest standards of journalism. We try to keep our news columns factual and unbiased, reserving our opinions for the editorial pages, where they belong.

2. Knight newspapers have no entangling alliances. We are not beholden to any political party, faction or special interest.

Our editors and officers studiously avoid conflicts of interest. I and my associates serve on no corporate boards or committees other than appropriate civic organizations or committees in the fields of education and communications.

3. It is our publishing judgment that business and general managers should conduct the managerial functions of our newspaper group; that the editors are responsible for the news, feature and editorial quality.

For newspapermen come in many molds. Some are distinguished editors, writers and photographers, others are superlative salesmen, talented circulation men and efficient production experts.

Still others, but not so many, have the genius of general management — sometimes described by Jim Knight as the “nuts and bolts” department.

Working as a team, the aforementioned and their co-workers accomplish the daily miracle of turning raw newsprint into the printed product which is sold and distributed in every 24-hour cycle of the year.

4. We believe in profitability and its achievement through efficient production and modern business procedures.

But we do not sacrifice the quality of our newspapers on the altar of the counting house.

The “unpopular” stands taken by newspapers are often the reasons for their preeminence in the field of journalism.

The truly distinguished newspapers in this country are those which have dared to face public wrath and displeasure.

We endeavor to be diligent in the areas of general management, future planning and in holding high the torch of vigilant, independent journalism.

As responsible purveyors of information and opinion, we are committed to the philosophy that journalism is likewise a public trust, an institution which serves, protects and advances the public welfare.

The Knight newspapers have a deep and abiding faith in our rich heritage of precious freedoms which can be preserved only to the degree that the public is at all times fully informed of the forces which seek to destroy them.

Few things are impossible to diligence, understanding and skill.

Thus we seek to bestir the people into an awareness of their own condition, provide inspiration for their thoughts and rouse them to pursue their true interests.


(Remarks of John S. Knight before a group of businessmen in April 1969)