Richard Koci Hernandez Named Bloomberg Chair

April 5, 2018

Associate Prof. Richard Koci Hernandez, an award-winning innovator in journalism and multimedia, has been named the Bloomberg Chair at the Graduate School of Journalism.

The Bloomberg Chair, formed in perpetuity as part of the $1M Hewlett Challenge, was established by Bloomberg in 2009. This $2M chair provides funds for the faculty chairholder, student fellowships and awards, and enables the multimedia program to pursue and examine new business models and platforms.

Hernandez, who was twice nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his work at the San Jose Mercury News was invited to join the faculty in 2008 as a visiting fellow supported by a Ford Foundation grant to produce digital news sites for San Francisco Bay Area communities. In 2017, he was named an Associate Professor for New Media.

For the last decade Hernandez, along with Lecturer and Assistant Dean for Academics Jeremy Rue (’07), have built the School’s multimedia program into one of the country’s most accomplished. Its students and alums have received multiple Emmy nominations, student Edward R. Murrow Awards, and a series of student Online Journalism Awards (OJA) from the Online News Association. Gina Pollack (‘16) had her master’s project screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, as part of the New York Times Op-Doc series.

The School’s New Media courses are at the core of its curriculum. Every student, regardless of their desired medium of specialization, must take classes in data journalism and visual storytelling. Thanks to better integration of the digital curriculum, students also learn computer-assisted research methods, using tools like mapping, the Bloomberg Terminal, and a variety of public records reporting techniques.

“Being named to the Bloomberg Chair is a great honor and privilege,” says Hernandez. “I am excited and humbled and want to give very special thanks to the faculty for bestowing such an honor. The J-School is fortunate to have the support of Bloomberg, and I look forward to supporting innovative student-focused initiatives in digital storytelling.”

Dean Edward Wasserman says having Hernandez officially assume the position formerly held by his mentor and friend, the late Paul Grabowicz, who pioneered the New Media program starting in the mid-1990s, is both intellectually and emotionally fitting. “Koci is one of the most skilled professors we have, at once a fine-art photographer, a tinkerer always seeking new ways to use technology to support groundbreaking visual journalism, and an author. He’s also one of the most highly regarded members of our faculty and actively engages with colleagues in newsrooms across the country. I am proud to officially name him the Bloomberg Chair.”

Since 2001, Bloomberg L.P. has been a major supporter of the Graduate School of Journalism, starting with its nearly decade-long funding of business reporting and New Media training through what was then known as the Bloomberg Business Reporting Program, to establishing the School’s first and only endowed chaired professorship in business and New Media in the form of the Bloomberg Chair.


About Richard Koci Hernandez
Richard Koci Hernandez is an internationally recognized, award-winning innovator in journalism and multimedia. In 2015, he published ”The Principles of Multimedia Journalism: Packaging Digital News” (Taylor & Francis), a much-needed examination of the principles of multimedia journalism, with co-author Jeremy Rue. In that work they systemize and categorize the characteristics of the new, often experimental story forms that appear on today’s digital news platforms. Hernandez is a national Emmy award-winning multimedia producer who worked as a visual journalist at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years.

His photographic work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and a National Geographic Book on iPhone Photography, among others. His photographic monograph, Downtown, was published in 2013 by French publisher, outofthephone. In 2013, his multimedia project for CNN, Our Mobile Society, earned him his fourth national Emmy nomination from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. In 2008, Hernandez was awarded a national Emmy award for the New Approaches to Documentary category for his work on the Mercury News multimedia project entitled, Uprooted. His work for the Mercury News covering the Latino Diaspora and the California Youth Prison System earned him two Pulitzer Prize nominations and in 2003 the James K. Batten Knight Ridder Excellence Award. In 2006, Hernandez was named deputy director of photography and multimedia at the Mercury News after spearheading the creation of the organization’s first visual journalism website, He has taught multimedia workshops for Stanford University, National Press Photographers Association, The Southern Short Course, National Association for Hispanic Journalists and National Association for Black Journalists, among many others. Hernandez is a journalism graduate of San Francisco State University, where he has also been a guest instructor.

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