Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism & Public Policy

Co-Chair, Duke Reporters' Lab

Principal Investigator, Knight Tech & Check Cooperative



143 Sanford Building

(919) 613-7348


In The News

  • “Heroes or Hacks? The Partisan Divide Over Fact-Checking.” Duke Reporters’ Lab, 6/12/2017. Article link
  • “Bill Adair: Keep on Fact-Checking!.” the New York Times, 11/8/2016. Article link
  • “Fact-Checking Senate Campaign Ads Just Got Easier.” 9/29/2016. Article link


Bill Adair is the Knight Professor of the Practice of Journalism & Public Policy. He previous served as Director of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy from 2015 to 2021.

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

The creator of the Pulitzer Prize-winning website PolitiFact, he has been recognized as a leader in new media and accountability journalism. 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.

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.

Selected Grants

North Carolina Fact-Checking Project (Principal Investigator)
Share the Facts (Principal Investigator)
Structured Stories NYC (Principal Investigator)
  • JAM 371, PUBPOL 371, ETHICS 259, DOCST 371, RIGHTS 371, POLSCI 375, CINE 371 News as a Moral Battleground (Fall 2024)
  • PJMS 390S-10, PUBPOL 290S-10 Lying in Politics (Spring 2022)