John L. Dotson, Jr.
Publisher, Akron Beacon Journal Chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Committee
John L. Dotson, Jr., President and Publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal and Co-chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, spoke to the Akron Roundtable at 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, June 15, at Tangier Restaurant, 532 W. Market St., Akron. His topic was "Journalism at Its Best."
June 15, 2000

about the speaker

Dotson was named president and publisher of the Akron Beacon Journal in June 1992. Under his leadership, the Beacon Journal won a Pulitzer Gold Medal for Meritorious Public Service in 1994 for its series on race relations and the launch of Coming Together.
The following year, he won the John S. Knight Gold Medal, Knight-Ridderճ highest award for overall achievement, recognizing his efforts in winning the Pulitzer and leading the Beacon Journal to record earnings. In 1997, he was awarded the distinguished diversity award for lifetime achievement by the National Association of Minority Media Executives.

He has served on the Pulitzer Prize Board for nine years. This year he and Jack Fuller, president of the Tribune Publishing Company, co-chaired the Board. Established in 1917 at Columbia University by the will of Joseph Pulitzer, the prizes and fellowships are awarded by Columbia on the recommendations of the Pulitzer Prize Board. More than 2,000 entries are submitted each year and only 21 awards are normally made. While prizes in journalism are the best known, awards are also made in Letters and Music. In addition, four fellowships are awarded annually upon the recommendation of the faculty of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

These awards are the culmination of a year-long process. The final act of the competition takes place in April after the Board has read the texts of the journalism entries, the nominated books, listened to music cassettes, read scripts of nominated plays and attended the performances or viewed videos.

In addition, Dotson is chairman and a founder of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, an organization devoted to the training of journalists to work in a multicultural environment. He also serves on the board of directors of the Newspapers Association of America.

He is past president of the Akron Community Foundation, a vice chair of the Akron Regional Development Board and a member of the boards of directors of Summit Education Initiative, Inventure Place and Akron Tomorrow.

A graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, he received an honorary doctorate from Temple in 1981. In 1995 he completed the Stanford University Executive Program. He and his wife, Peggy, are the parents of five children.

Akron Roundtable is open to the public. Tickets for the luncheon and program are $10.00. For reservations and information, call 836-7275.