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Bill Adair

Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy
Sanford School of Public Policy
Sanford Building 136, Box 90241, Durham, NC 27708
136 Sanford Building, Box 90241, Durham, NC 27708


Bill Adair is the Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism & Public Policy.

One of 25 Knight Chairs at universities around the country, Adair's research and teaching focuses on fact-checking and accountability journalism.

The creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning website PolitiFact, Adair has been recognized as a leader in fact-checking and digital media. He worked for 24 years as a reporter and editor for the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times) and served as the paper’s Washington Bureau Chief from 2004 to 2013. He launched PolitiFact in 2007 and built it into the largest fact-checking effort in history, with affiliates in 11 states. In 2013, he managed the site’s first international expansion with the launch of PolitiFact Australia. He is the co-founder of the International Fact-Checking Network, the global association of fact-checking organizations.

Adair has lectured about fact-checking and new media at conferences and universities around the world, including SXSW, TEDx Poynter, Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Texas, Louisiana State University, the College of William & Mary, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Shanghai International Studies University, the University of Sydney, Netzwerk Recherche in Germany and the International Festival of Journalism in Italy. He has made hundreds of appearances on television and radio on programs such as the Today Show, Nightline, Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Reliable Sources, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal and the Colbert Report.

His awards include the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting (with the PolitiFact staff), the Manship Prize for New Media in Democratic Discourse and the Everett Dirksen Award for Distinguished Coverage of Congress.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy · 2013 - Present Sanford School of Public Policy
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society · 2017 - Present Duke Science & Society, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

Arizona State University · 1985 A.B.