Nolan Finley joined The Detroit News staff as a copy boy in 1976 while he was still a student. He navigated the positions of reporter, deputy managing editor, business editor, city editor and opinion leader to eventually become the editorial page editor, a position he has held since 2000.
With Finley at the helm, the newspaper attracted awards with its massive projects, such as the devastating crash of Northwest Flight 255, the Serving the Shareholders package that graded every public company in Michigan when pay-for-performance first appeared in Michigan, Kmart Corporation’s slow descent, and Kirk Kerkorian’s play for the Chrysler Corporation. He was also one of the first to cover the globalization of the auto industry.
He devoted special sections throughout the years to improving the educational climate in Detroit and Michigan, and demanded accountability of educational and political state leadership. Finley also was outspoken on a backlash of Sept. 11 that reduced individual privacy and civil liberties.
More recently, under his leadership, the editorial page launched The News’ multimedia website, “Michigan View,” which serves as a magnet and springboard for politics, automobiles and more. And Finley’s work at “Am I Right?” a news and events talk show at Detroit Public Television, led to a series of statewide debates and nightly newscasts.
Over the years, Finley has shared his award-winning passion and mentored hundreds of reporters who passed through or stayed at The Detroit News.
Finley has a significant portfolio for “high quality written work, a reputation for integrity, the courage of one’s convictions, and a powerful impact on the community served.”