If you’re a regular Policy Watch reader or, indeed, anyone who pays attention to public policy in North Carolina, you know about award-winning journalist Billy Ball. Before joining Policy Watch as the project’s education reporter two-and-a-half years ago, Billy had already developed a well-earned reputation as one of North Carolina’s most important and hardest-working journalists.
As his Policy Watch bio notes:
In his 15+ years as a North Carolina reporter, he’s covered public schools, state and local politics, courts, the environment, criminal justice and immigration for publications like The Independent Weekly, The Sanford Herald andThe Monroe Enquirer-Journal. During that time, he’s won more than 20 state, regional and national awards for his reporting, including first place awards for education reporting and news feature reporting in 2016. His 2014 reporting on the death of Michael Anthony Kerr, which earned him a national award for “media impact” from The Media Consortium, exposed the mistreatment of a North Carolina inmate with mental illness in solitary confinement. His reporting led to ongoing reforms in how the state handles prisoners with a mental illness.
Today, I’m thrilled to announce that Billy has assumed the new title of Policy Watch Managing Editor. In this new role, Billy will be helping to develop and carry out all of the work of the project – the websites, events, newsletters, etc. In addition, and most excitingly for our readers, Billy will also commence authoring a weekly opinion column on many of the the key issues of the day, while also working hard to recruit and assist a new crop of Policy Watch contributors to supplement our already formidable cast.
The only downside to this development, of course, is that Policy Watch will now need to find a new reporter to fill Billy’s extra large shoes on the education beat. Happily, however, those who have grown accustomed to his prolific insights on the myriad K-12 issues that confront North Carolina need not despair as, until such time as we’re able to find the right person for the job, Billy has consented to doing double duty.
Be on the lookout for Billy’s first commentary this coming Wednesday and for a job announcement in the very near future. His contact information remains the same: [email protected] and 919-861-1460. You can follow him on Twitter via the handle @Billy_K_Ball.