Presentation by Rene Knott, KSDK TV

By Kal Weiss and Katie Loethen 

Rene Knott, a KSDK reporter and journalist, held a presentation in Reid Memorial Library on Tuesday, Feb. 27. He came to Lewis & Clark (LC) as a part of Black History Month to discuss how communications and journalism have changed over time and their impact on modern society.  

He started television in Medford, Oregon in 1987 after getting a degree from Southern Oregon State College. He introduced this part of his history by discussing how his identity made him have to work even harder to receive accolades in his job. 

“I was the only Black man there,” Rene Knott said. “I had to be two times better than the average person to get the job. When I covered sports, I was there on the field, camera on my shoulder. It’s more than showing up to your job, it’s about doing the work.”  

When he moved to St. Louis, he started at KSDK’s “5 On Your Side” as the sports director in 2004 and was promoted to the morning show in 2016. He was named Favorite News Anchor of 2022. He is now Michelle Li’s co-anchor on Today in St. Louis.  

Knott’s KSDK bio states, “Rene says he’s enjoyed every stop on the way, but St. Louis is special.”  

He elaborated more on his humble origins by telling people his mission as a journalist.  

“My mission is to meet regular people and tell their stories,” Knott said. “I want to break stereotypes by showing the humanity of the people I talk to.”  

During the speech, he emphasized community. He emphasized the point that “everyone should care for each other.” He quoted Muhammad Ali to carry this statement, recounting, “The will has to be stronger than the skill.”  

Knott related this point back to Black history, saying, “Black history relates to where I am today, one of my biggest things right now is representation. It’s hard for me to visualize being who I am unless I see someone like me doing what I do.”  

He appreciated the event, saying, “This event was very enlightening for me because it gave me an opportunity to meet people one on one. The most important part of this event is just to let people understand the value of other souls and their part in the history that has come before us.” 

The community enjoyed the event just as much as he did.  

“I thought he was really well spoken,” audience member, Casandra Mouring, said. “The event was very inspiring, along with the advice that he gave about journalism and media.”  

Jared Hennings, the coordinator of Student Activities, agreed as well.  

“I think Rene Knott has some fantastic background and experience, which was able to translate to a lot of students in attendance.” Hennings said. 

What is Knott’s advice to students at LC? 

“A quote my mother said to me when I was in college was ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.’” Knott said. “In other words, don’t wait around. Don’t wait for people to hand you something.” 

If you want to keep up with Knott and his work, look him up on Instagram, X, and Fa

About Kal Weiss

Kal is pursuing a degree in Graphic Design and plans to graduate in Winter 2024. After graduation, they plan to begin their graphic design career.
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