Timothy J. McNulty is a veteran journalist whose career in national and foreign news coverage includes roles as both a war correspondent and White House correspondent. As the national and later foreign editor of the Chicago Tribune, he helped direct the newspaper’s coverage of the September 11 tragedy, the American strike into Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq.
McNulty has traveled to all 50 states and reported from more than 65 countries. Following the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with China, he was one of the first eight American journalists allowed to live in Beijing. Later, as the Middle East correspondent, he worked in Beirut and Jerusalem during a time of great conflict in the region. Upon returning to the U.S., he reported on social and political policy making in Washington for more than a decade.
A senior editor at the Tribune for many years, McNulty served as the newspaper’s public editor from early 2006 until leaving the newspaper in August 2008. McNulty oversaw ethical issues for Tribune reporters and editors and engaged readers on questions of accuracy and fairness. He wrote a weekly op-ed column explaining and challenging his colleagues’ articles and he also served on the newspaper’s editorial board.
As associate managing editor, McNulty directed the foreign desk and its 11 overseas-based correspondents. He also helped coordinate the Tribune’s diplomatic and military affairs coverage in Washington. Prior to that, he edited the Tribune’s Tempo features section and its staff of critics, columnists and writers.
Before returning to Chicago, McNulty was national affairs correspondent covering social issues and special reporting projects in the Tribune’s Washington Bureau. He was White House correspondent in President Ronald Reagan’s last year in office and for the full term of President George H.W. Bush. In 1992, McNulty won the White House Correspondents Association award for journalistic excellence for a series on the impact of satellite television on presidential decision-making and diplomacy.
McNulty was the national reporter for the Tribune’s 1985 series on the emergence of an urban underclass, which won the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award. He has won the Tribune’s Beck Award three times, for his contribution to reporting on Tiananmen Square, for his coverage of the Israeli siege of Beirut and for distinguished reporting on the suicide/killing of more than 900 cult followers in Guyana.
Since 2004, he has been on the adjunct faculty of both Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. He has also been a guest lecturer at Columbia University, Tufts University, the University of Illinois and at Columbia College in Chicago.
McNulty serves as Senior Journalist at the McCormick Foundation Freedom Museum. He is on the board of directors of the World Press Institute and was a member of the Organization of News Ombudsmen, and a corporate member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. For the last several years, he has judged the David Kaplan award for the Overseas Press Club and Peter R. Weitz Prize for The German Marshall Fund of the United States.
He has been a moderator and panelist for the Chicago Humanities Festival; the Printers’ Row Book Festival; McCormick Tribune Foundation conferences on the military, media and public diplomacy; the Poynter Institute; the McCormick Freedom Museum on the First Amendment; the Goethe-Institut; the Chicago Council on Global Affairs; the Pritzker Military Library; the Lucius W. Nieman symposium on “New Wars, New Media” at Marquette University and for Special Operations officers at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Television and radio appearances include The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer; CNN; BBC; C-SPAN; National Public Radio; WTTW Chicago Tonight; WBBM news radio; WGN-TV and radio, and CBC radio.
McNulty is married to Genevieve Anne McNulty, a clinical social worker. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wayne State University and a master’s degree from Georgetown University.