Neil Henry worked for 16 years as a staff writer for The Washington Post and Newsweek magazine prior to joining the faculty in 1993. A former national correspondent and Africa Bureau Chief for the Washington Post, Professor Henry has won awards from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Associated Press, and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial for his reporting and writing. He is the author of a 2002 racial memoir, Pearl's Secret. His second book, American Carnival, which examines the news industry's adjustments to the digital age, was published in 2007. Between 2007 and 2011, Professor Henry served as dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, attracting three endowed chairs under the Hewlett Challenge and hastening the School's curricular transition to incorporate digital skills training. A graduate in Politics from Princeton University, Professor Henry earned his Master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Professor Henry has also launched an award winning digital news initiative originally funded by the Ford Foundation in which J-School students in the program's core news reporting classes are producing local news content for neglected Bay Area communities. The digital sites include OaklandNorth, Richmond Confidential, and Mission Loc@l, winner of a 2009 Webby Award for Internet Excellence. These projects helped lead the School to a founding partnership in 2010 with the Hellman Family Foundation in the Bay Area News Project, a non-profit online news operation dedicated to providing greater public interest journalism to Bay Area communities.
Pearl's Secret is a remarkable autobiography and family story that combines elements of history, investigative reporting, and personal narrative in a riveting, true-to-life mystery.
American Carnival confronts the crisis facing professional journalism in this era of rapid technological transformation. American Carnival combines elements of memoir with extensive media research to explore critical contemporary issues ranging from reporting on the Iraq War, to American race relations, to the exploitation of the image of journalism by advertisers and politicians.
- Students Leading Way For News Industry (San Francisco Chronicle - May 26, 2009)
- Young Berkeley Scientist Saves Lives in Darfur (Smithsonian Magazine - Nov. 19, 2007)
- Students Investigating Public Records (Editor and Publisher - Oct. 10, 2007)
- Neil Henry on New Media (San Francisco Chronicle - Aug. 23, 2007)
- Berkeley Singer Blends Opera, Blues, and Spirituals (Berkeley Daily Planet - Oct. 27, 2006)
- Controversy over Yahoo Money (San Francisco Chronicle - Oct. 1, 2006)
- Neil Henry on Barry Bonds, The Algebra Project, and Journalism Education (San Francisco Chronicle, Smithsonian Magazine, the Quill Magazine - Sept. 30, 2006)
- 9/11 -- Five Years Later (Oakland Tribune - Sept. 11, 2006)
- Launching a J-School in Ethiopia (Freedom Forum Online - Nov. 21, 2003)
- Racial Fallout in the Newsroom (Nieman Reports - Oct. 1, 2003)
- To My Former Students: How Race Works (The Chronicle of Higher Education - May 20, 2003)
- Riot and Remembrance: The Tulsa Race War and Its Legacy (Mother Jones - March 31, 2002)
- Letter From South Africa (Graduate School of Journalism - March 1, 2002)