Bill Mitchell leads the Entrepreneurial Journalism and International Programs at the Poynter Institute, a non-profit school for Journalists in St. Petersburg, Florida. Mitchell joined Poynter in 1999 and directed the Institute’’s Web site for ten years.He expects to take early retirement from Poynter later this year. Mitchell earned a B.A. in theology from the University of Notre Dame, and has twice served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes. In addition to his work at Poynter, Mitchell has facilitated workshops on the topics of ethics, leadership and online publishing in South Africa, Denmark, Austria, China and Poland, where he worked as a correspondent in the early 80’s.
Before joining Poynter, Mitchell worked for the new media arm of Universal Press Syndicate (editor/director of development), the San Jose Mercury News (director of electronic publishing), Time Magazine (Detroit bureau chief) and the Detroit Free Press. He started at the Free Press as a reporter in 1972 and worked as city-county bureau chief, Washington correspondent, European correspondent, city editor, and assistant managing editor for projects. As European correspondent, he was based in Vienna 1980 – 1983, focused especially on the emerging democracy movements in Eastern Europe. At the Free Press, he was the first director of Free Press Plus, a pre-web initiative delivering the news on such platforms as fax machine and audiotext. He was also the newspaper’s first Dr. Risk, a revolving assignment aimed at provoking unexpected approaches to news. At the Mercury News, he led the team that produced one of the first fully online newspapers, Mercury Center, published first on America Online in 1993 and later on the Web.