Akron’s Daily Miracle begins with the death of the heir to John S. and James Knight’s newspaper empire and ends with the demise of Knight Ridder Newspapers but also with a note about how the Knight spirit lives on in Akron and elsewhere. In between is a collection of essays from those who produced the news in the Rubber City, including international best-selling authors Thrity Umrigar and Regina Brett and popular columnists Bob Dyer and Stuart Warner, written to remind readers of the value of excellent local journalism.
About the Authors
Stuart Warner is best known in Akron for writing a local column called Warner’s Corner and for his solos at TubaChristmas. At the Akron Beacon Journal, he also served in several editing positions, including associate managing editor. He was part of the teams that won Pulitzers for covering the attempted takeover of Goodyear and race relations in Akron. As writing coach at the Cleveland Plain Dealer he edited four Pulitzer finalists, including Connie Schultz’s columns that won the Pulitzer for commentary.
Deb Van Tassel Warner joined the Akron Beacon Journal in 1982 and held various editing positions, including supervising local coverage of the attempted takeover of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. and as news editor for A Question of Color, two of the paper’s Pulitzer Prize winning initiatives. She also edited the award-winning series and book, Wheels of Fortune, about Akron’s rubber industry, and relaunched the newspaper’s popular Sunday Beacon Magazine. She joined the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1999 and oversaw award-winning coverage of the collapse and rebirth of Cleveland’s steel industry and edited the acclaimed special report “Beyond Rape” by Joanna Connors.
Praise for Akron’s Daily Miracle
For a book to tell the whole story of a newsroom, it must include the voices of the journalists who knew it as their second home. This is that story, as only these writers could tell it, guided by two powerhouse editors, Deb Van Tassel Warner and Stuart Warner. Journalists everywhere will hear echoes of their own careers in these well-written tales, but this book is also a great read for anyone who has ever relied on a daily newspaper to keep them tethered to the world.
—Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and author of “The Daughters of Erietown”
This book captures the essence of what excellent journalism should always strive for—the ability to be honest, fair and balanced. What a treasure to relive a time when newspapers like the Akron Beacon Journal were king: fact-finders, truth-tellers and simply enjoyable to read.
—Romona Robinson, Award winning anchor and author of “Your Voice is Your Power”
For those who lived through Akron’s most significant events of the last fifty years, we could only wonder what was going on inside the Akron Beacon Journal as Sir James Goldsmith tried to abscond with Goodyear; what the city’s televangelists were really up to; and whether what we were seeing in the afternoon (and later morning) paper was REALLY the story. Akron’s Daily Miracle provides the answers in an unvarnished telling of the truth by the men and women who were working to get the truth and printing it. If journalism is the first draft of history, then these memoirs by those who witnessed the news as it was made are the “backstairs of history,” (as the novelist George Meredith put it.) These highly personal essays benefit from the distance between the actual events and the re-telling of it, something that is usually obtainable only when reporters are huddled together around ample servings of alcohol. It’s a wild and wonderful read for those who grew up in Akron.
—David Lieberth, Former deputy mayor of Akron and news director of WHLO radio.