Ceppos is recognized as one of the country’s leading news professionals and mass communication educators.
As former vice president for news of Knight Ridder, Ceppos oversaw news and editorial content, set quality and ethical standards, identified and recruited top editors and diversified the newsrooms of the company's 32 daily newspapers. He previously held a number of top positions at Knight Ridder's San Jose Mercury News, including executive editor and senior vice president. Collaborating with the newspaper's staff, he defined the Mercury News' mission as being "the newspaper of Silicon Valley" and executed that mission.
Prior to coming to the Manship School, Ceppos led the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, helping the school to raise more than $12 million, revise its curriculum to reflect changes in the journalism industries, energize its Reynolds National Center for Courts and Media, increase faculty diversity and build ties with Nevada and California high-school journalists.
Ceppos has a long interest in journalism education. For 20 years, he has served on the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, which accredits and sets standards for university journalism programs. He was president of the council for six years. He also chaired the journalism-education committees of the two national organizations for newspaper editors and served as the president of one of those organizations, the Associated Press Managing Editors. He also served two terms as president of the California Society of Newspaper Editors and twice was a Pulitzer Prize juror.
Ceppos won the Society of Professional Journalists' first Ethics in Journalism award (shared with two others) in 1997 for "superior ethical conduct" after publication of a flawed Mercury News series. He also won the Gerald M. Sass Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism and Mass Communication from the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and the James K. Batten Knight Ridder Excellence Award for Diversity for diversifying the staff and pages of the Mercury News. He has been active with First Amendment issues and is a member of the boards of the First Amendment Coalition and the Student Press Law Center. He is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Maryland journalism program.