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Bill Handy

Bill Handy

Assistant Professor

Bill Handy, clinical assistant professor, is coordinator of Medill’s Global Journalism Residency Program.  He regularly teaches both the most fundamental class in the graduate journalism program – News Reporting – and one of the most advanced – NUvention, an immersive product-development capstone class.  He also teaches reporting on urban issues, health/environment/science and U.S. security and civil liberties.

Before coming to Medill in 2007, he was an editor and publishing executive working in mainstream journalism (newspapers and the Associated Press) as well as niche-market periodicals, books and a start-up/failure based in Dallas. His newsroom leadership positions have included AP bureau chief in Chicago, managing editor in Wichita, Kansas, and senior editor in Tampa, Florida. As a reporter in Florida, he specialized in organized crime and investigative reporting. Handy graduated from the University of North Carolina (journalism), attended grad school at Duke University (sociology) and completed advanced management training at Harvard Business School.

In his classes, Handy stresses clear thinking, fundamental skills, planning and organization, and professionalism as the foundations of all good and meaningful journalism; that fundamental skills and perspectives will endure, even as media presentation and delivery change; that audience focus is the most effective way to begin developing editorial content and successfully delivering it; that it’s a big world, and journalists must be prepared and eager to embrace it.

In 2009, Handy was editorial coordinator of Medill’s News21 project, part of the Carnegie-Knight Initiative on the Future of Journalism Education. His resulting academic paper, “Understand and Engage: Medill’s Audience-Focused Approach to News 21,” explains the philosophy at the heart of the school’s journalism training, and the power of its application in a real-world situation. An adapted version of the paper is to be published in 2015 in China.

In addition to teaching at Medill, Handy teaches writing/reporting and media-product development at a top communications university in Beijing.  He consults domestically and with major Chinese media organizations on communications, publishing strategy and product development.