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May 5, 2006

Knight Ridder Washington editor to speak at Knight Lecture and Symposium

Clark Hoyt, the Washington editor of Knight Ridder, will give a lecture titled "News in the Age of Bush, Blogs and Bombs" and, the following day, join Luis Fraga, associate professor of political science at Stanford, and Joan Walsh, editor in chief of, for a panel discussion of his talk. James Bettinger, director of the John S. Knight Fellowships for Professional Journalists, will moderate.

Both events, which are free and open to the public, are part of the John S. Knight Lecture and Symposium, which this year will focus on the challenges of telling news accurately in the face of government pressures and a changing media environment. The lecture is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. May 15 in Kresge Auditorium. The symposium is scheduled to begin at noon May 16 in the Bechtel Conference Center in Encina Hall.

In the three years since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the Knight Ridder Washington bureau, which Hoyt oversees, has been recognized as one of the few mainstream U.S. news organizations that skeptically examined the Bush administration's stated rationale for the invasion.

As Washington editor, Hoyt supervises the Knight Ridder chain's Washington coverage and its international coverage as well. That coverage has been cited by, among others, the New York Review of Books and American Journalism Review for its focus on the sketchy intelligence that was being used to justify the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Author Michael Massing, in his critical examination of pre-invasion mainstream news reporting in the New York Review of Books, wrote, "Almost alone among national news organizations, Knight Ridder had decided to take a hard look at the administration's justifications for war." The coverage has been honored with a number of awards.

Knight Ridder's Washington bureau will cease to exist as a separate entity when the McClatchy Co. completes its purchase of Knight Ridder Inc. later this summer. The bureau will be absorbed into the McClatchy Washington bureau, and Hoyt will continue as a consultant to McClatchy.

Hoyt began his Washington journalism career in 1970 as a correspondent for the Miami Herald and later was a national correspondent, news editor and bureau chief. He also was business editor at the Detroit Free Press, managing editor of the Wichita Eagle and, from 1993 to 1999, vice president/news for Knight Ridder. He shared a Pulitzer Prize with Robert S. Boyd for revealing mental illness in the background of 1972 Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Thomas Eagleton.

Luis Fraga is an associate professor of political science at Stanford. He received his bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Harvard University and his master's and doctoral degrees from Rice University. His primary interests are urban politics, politics of race and ethnicity, educational politics and voting rights policy.

Joan Walsh is editor in chief at, the award-winning website. Her work has appeared in many national newspapers and magazines, including the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Vogue and The Nation. As a columnist for San Francisco Magazine, she won Western Magazine Awards in 2004 and 2005 for her writing about local politics.

The Knight Fellowships program brings outstanding mid-career journalists, 12 from the United States and six to eight from other countries, to study at Stanford for an academic year. It has sponsored an annual lecture since 1988. Beginning in 2004 it expanded the event to include a symposium on the day following the lecture.



James Bettinger, director, Knight Fellowships: (650) 725-1189,

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