Publishers: The Chain That Doesn't Bind

For the first time in the history of Pulitzer prizes, a single publisher, John S. Knight, 73, carried off three of them last week. His Detroit Free Press won top prize for local general reporting, the Charlotte Observer's Eugene Gray Payne was named best cartoonist, and Knight himself was cited for editorial writing. It was a day of rare honors for a publisher who has not gone out of his way to seek them.*

Knight has never fancied himself a domineering press lord. Preferring to call his papers a group, not a chain, he encourages local autonomy, and his papers...

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