This week’s campus celebrity is not your typical undergraduate Ohio University student. However, he is a graduate student and professor here in Athens. His name is Paul Jacoway.
In 2010, Jacoway won an Emmy for his documentary titled Final Edition: Journalism According to Jack and Jim Knight, which he wrote, directed and produced. The film is a story of two brothers who founded a newspaper company called Knight-Ridder Newspapers Inc. in Akron, Ohio, which is Jacoway’s native city.
Inspirations for the film’s title came from a basic metaphor regarding the concept of how there were multiple newspapers issued throughout the prime days of newspapers.
“As breaking news would happen, the last paper of the evening would be called ‘final edition,’” said Jacoway.
Since Jacoway was living in Akron during the time he began working on this documentary, he took a historical direction by writing this story about the deceased brothers and their legacy with their company.
“If you ask any of the professors or people in journalism throughout the country, [the brothers] were like the Beatles,” said Jacoway, regarding how popular and respected the company was during the “hayday” of newspapers.
There was talk that newspapers were dying and local people told Jacoway that the story about the company had to be told.
“I enjoyed researching and looking for things in the archives, which took about a year,” said Jacoway while commenting that he also enjoyed the opportunity to travel.
After spending two and a half years working on the documentary, Jacoway and his team paid an entry fee of $150 per person to the Great Lakes Chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts. Along with the monetary expenses, Jacoway had to create a “lift,” which required taking 2 full 20-minute segments from his movie and piecing them together for judging.
“People from other parts of the country do the judging and they are people that have been doing that for a long, long time. They judge it by professional broadcast standards,” Jacoway said about the Emmy’s.
The actual award show took place in Cleveland and Jacoway said he was “shocked” when he won. Jacoway now keeps his award in a bedroom that he uses as an office.
“It makes you want another one because if you just see one sitting there, it gives you the impression that it might have been a fluke,” said Jacoway. “It’s like a bowling trophy.”
There is an abundance of wisdom that we can obtain from OU’s own Emmy-winning professor.
“Know the techy stuff. It will save you or kill you,” said Jacoway, passing down fellow advice to young, aspiring filmmakers.