A growing number of readers across the country have become aware in recent weeks of NC Policy Watch investigative reporter Joe Killian and his outstanding coverage of higher education issues — this thanks primarily to his nonpareil reporting on the controversy surrounding the appointment of acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones to fill the UNC journalism school’s Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.
As a lot of other people were already aware, however, Killan’s reporting on higher education long predates recent events. From the debates over the ever-evolving political and personnel battles that have roiled the UNC Board of Governors in recent years, to the ‘Silent Sam’ Confederate statue controversy, to the debates over reopening campuses in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Killian has been the state’s most persistent, prolific and important reporter on the higher education beat — all while managing to generate a bevy of important stories in several other important fields.
Happily, Joe received some important and long overdue recognition for his work in this area in recent days when the North Carolina Press Association awarded him the prestigious Green-Rossiter Award, which is sponsored each year by Duke University for outstanding coverage of higher education issues in the state.
This is from Killian’s “First Place’ citation:
Joe Killian is to be commended for his thorough coverage of issues affecting the UNC system. And these were issues of consequence. For instance, would UNC students adhere to COVID rules announced by its chancellor? Killian foreshadowed the outcome well before UNC closed down its campus. He also zeroed in on the politics behind some higher-ed decisions. Killian’s reporting provided a great service to the people of North Carolina by shining a light on matters that required some digging.