Bill Drummond

Bill Drummond

Class of 1965

William J. Drummond’s career includes stints at The (Louisville) Courier-Journal, where he covered the civil rights movement, and the Los Angeles Times, where he was a local reporter, then bureau chief in New Delhi and Jerusalem and later a Washington correspondent. Drummond was appointed a White House Fellow in 1976 by President Gerald R. Ford, worked briefly for Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and eventually became associate press secretary to President Jimmy Carter. In 1977 he joined NPR and became the founding editor of Morning Edition. He joined the Berkeley faculty in July, 1983.

In addition to teaching students at UC Berkeley, Drummond twice taught an introductory journalism course pro bono under auspices of the Prison University Project for dozens of inmates at San Quentin Prison in the Summer of 2012 and the Fall 2014 Semester.

His most significant recent contribution to journalism came through the partnership he established with the San Quentin News beginning in the summer of 2012. His work with the San Quentin News brought new national and international exposure to California’s worsening incarceration problem. His efforts brought recognition from Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, who gave Drummond a public service award for 2015.

The San Quentin News has been featured prominently in news stories from coast to coast, and around the world. Prof. Drummond’s own teaching efforts were the subject of a page-one story in the Los Angeles Times and the Daily Mail, the most widely read newspaper website in the world. The numerous citations of his San Quentin work have kept the name of the UC Berkeley School of Journalism at the forefront of the burgeoning national discussion about incarceration policy.

Drummond has won numerous national awards for his work. The Northern California chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists gave San Quentin News its James Madison Freedom of Information Award, and the citation made specific mention of Drummond’s contribution and that of UC Berkeley students. The Association of Opinion Journalists gave him the Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship in Journalism for his efforts on behalf of bringing underrepresented groups into journalism. As mentioned above, Chancellor Dirks honored Drummond with an Award for Public Service, recognizing his community-engaged scholarship, specifically for the San Quentin News project. Drummond has also been honored with a National Press Club Foundation Award, the Sidney Hillman Foundation Award for Journalism Excellence, and the Award for Outstanding Coverage of the Black Condition from the National Association of Black Journalists. And the White House Fellows Foundation named Drummond the winner of the 2015 John Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award. Previous recipients include Marsha Johnson Evans, President of the American Red Cross, UCLA Professor Fernando Torres-Gil, and retired General Wesley Clark. Here’s an excerpt from the 2015 White House Fellows citation:

John W. Gardner challenged all White House Fellows to commit to a lifetime of public service: to return to their communities after their Fellowship year and become agents of change and renewal, and to work to strengthen the White House Fellows Program. Bill Drummond has met John Gardner’s challenge. By any measure, Bill has lived all the values of the White House Fellows program. His life is one of great personal and professional achievement, leadership, and selfless service to community and country.

Drummond was selected by his peers on the Berkeley faculty to serve as Chair of the Academic Senate for two consecutive terms. He is the only person in the history of UC Berkeley to have had that distinction.

Besides prison policy, his research interest lies in incorporating stress-reduction techniques into journalism education. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is a certified massage therapist and holds a private pilot’s license with an instrument rating.


A post with the ID $course-section does not exist.

Sec. Title Time Location
1 J255 Ethics, Law and Public Purpose-Discussion group-Drummond See details 106 North Gate (Upper News)
2 J298 San Quentin Editing TBD To be determined
11 J294 Master’s Project Seminar – Drummond By appt. By appointment
11 J298 San Quentin Editing TBD To be determined