Bill Horner III
Publisher and Editor, Chatham News + Record Education: University of Kansas, bachelor of science in journalism
Editor and Publisher
2022 E&P EDITORS EXTRAORDINAIRE
Bill Horner was nominated by a former employee who called him “a legend in NC media.” The latest chapter in the legend of Bill Horner is being written at the Chatham News + Record, a couple of community papers he purchased two years ago. “In just two years, Bill turned the operation into the state’s winningest journal in its category at the NCPAS. Under his leadership, the CN+R has held institutions accountable, uncovered significant government shortcomings, amplified worthy local businesses and generally kept its readership abreast of everything important in Chatham County.” Bill’s La Voz de Chatham project, a Spanish-language paper and online content designed for the area’s large Hispanic community, was covered in the December 2021 issue of E&P. What advice do you have for other young professionals who aspire to become an editor extraordinaire? Find ways to add value to your organization. Find someone who can mentor you and give you honest feedback about you and your work; likewise, seek people to mentor. Be a learned consumer of really great journalism. Set measurable goals. Become a problem-solver. Take regular inventory of yourself, and be in a hurry to stop doing what doesn’t work, start doing what will, and keep doing the things that are producing good results. Why should investigative journalism be important to local news publications? Who will ask the important questions and provide checks and balances if we don’t? I think we should always be about celebrating wins for the communities we cover, but this Fourth Estate thing is real. We need to challenge our communities, and particularly the institutions. It’s important in part because it’s hard. It’s part of being a problem-solver — and the first thing is showing where the problems are.