Friday, December 12, 2008

Knight Foundation & Newspaper Dynasty's Hidden History--Part 5

“A $200,000 grant proposal, submitted by a group of Indymedia volunteers to the Knight News Challenge contest, has been blocked by other IMCs and subsequently dropped due to the abiding ethos that Indymedia is a counter to corporate, money-fixated media entities. The grant application to the Knight Foundation was to fund technical development work for Independent Media Centres (IMCs)…

“The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation describes itself as "an American private, non-profit foundation dedicated to promoting journalism and supporting the vitality of 26 communities" where the Knight Brothers owned newspapers….In 1974, Knight Newspapers merged with Ridder Publications to create Knight-Ridder Inc., at the time the largest newspaper company in the US. Lee Hills, former president of Knight Newspapers, became Knight-Ridder chairman and CEO. Its trustees include Paul E. Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and a vice president at Dow Jones & Company. Until it was bought by The McClatchy Company in June 2006, Knight-Ridder was the second-largest newspaper publisher in the US, with 32 daily newspapers...”
(Corporate Watch UK and sites)

During the McCarthy Era of the 1950s, John S. Knight apparently also used his personal editorial column to defend HUAC’s investigation of the U.S. entertainment industry—which often led to the civil liberties of U.S. actors and actresses being violated. As the 1989 book Knight: A Publisher In The Tumultuous Century by Charles Whited recalled:

“In an `Editor’s Notebook’ column of August 21, 1955, Knight praised the work of the House Committee on Un-American Activities [HUAC] investigating suspected Communists and fellow travelers in the entertainment industry: `We feel nothing but disgust and indignation over the refusal of actors to give satisfactory answers to questions put to them by the committee. It is their responsibility as citizens to speak up or be adjudged in their true colors as principals in the Communist conspiracy.”

Prior to the CIA’s unsuccessful 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the editors of the Knight Dynasty’s Miami Herald “figured an invasion of Cuba could happen anytime” and “John McMullan, assistant managing editor, wanted to break the story and publish what reporters had gathered, which was considerable,” according to the book Knights Of The Fourth Estate by Nixon Smiley. But coincidentally, according to the same book, “Jack Knight…ordered the story held…” (end of part 5)

(Downtown 9/15/93)