Posts by Bill Mitchell

About Bill Mitchell

Bill Mitchell is a Poynter Affiliate who most recently led Poynter’s entrepreneurial and international programs and served as a member of its faculty. Previously, Bill headed for 10 years. Before joining Poynter in 1999, he worked as editor of Universal New Media (‘95-‘99) and director of electronic publishing at the San Jose Mercury News (‘92-‘95). Bill previously was a reporter, editor, Washington correspondent and European correspondent for the Detroit Free Press & Knight Ridder, and a bureau chief for TIME. He served as a Pulitzer juror in 2002 and 2003. Contact Bill at

No, Hillary Clinton isn't going to 'clinch the nomination' tomorrow. Here's why.

News organizations will face an important decision when the polls close Tuesday night in New Jersey. If all goes as expected and Hillary Clinton wins even close to a majority of the 126 delegates up for grabs, journalists will make a choice, more or less, between two possible headlines: Clinton Clinches Nomination Clinton Wins New Jersey There’s no question … Read More

Globe delivery fiasco illustrates challenges of digital era

Diary of a Boston Globe subscriber, 2016: After a week of late and missed deliveries, the paper’s band of midnight-riding staffers provided me with not one but two copies of the Sunday paper. By Monday morning, though, things were back to the new normal: No Globe awaiting me in the lobby of our apartment building near Coolidge Corner in … Read More

Google Cardboard: Novelty or Useful?

New York Times distributed Google Cardboard to its subscribers so they can watch New York Times virtual reality stories. (Photo by Bill Mitchell)Somewhere in a box, I have a cue cat, a device that emerged 15 years ago as the next cool navigator of digital content. Its final destination after an investment of $185 million? Oblivion. I was … Read More

Spotlight: Why it works and how it matters

The new Spotlight movie opening in select cities this weekend is such a big deal in Boston that several university journalism programs staged special advance screenings earlier this week. After failing to worm my way into any of those events, I showed up at Spotlight’s first public unveiling Thursday night. It’s showing at a theater just down the street … Read More

On the ethics of family obit writing

When I finished the first draft of Uncle Bob’s obit last week, I shared it as a Google Doc with family members and invited their “edits, trims or additions.” Although I failed to realize it at the time, I was making a fundamental declaration of my loyalties, the sort of critical ethical distinction addressed so precisely by Tom … Read More

How to tap into patient reviews of local hospitals

If you haven't examined how your local hospitals performed in the latest Medicare surveys, you're missing out on some important stories with high likely readership. Jordan Rau of Kaiser Health News joined us for a chat on how journalists can use the surveys. The surveys, one of the first parts of the Affordable Care Act, probe patient attitudes on such … Read More