Recently, the UC Press staff was joyed to host Professor William J. Drummond at our headquarters. Throughout the year, UC Press invites our authors to visit us in Oakland to participate in our Campfire Conversation series, where they present their research, recount their careers, and discuss their recently published books to the entire press, while also inviting questions and conversations from the audience.

William J. Drummond, author of Prison Truth: The Story of the San Quentin News (2020), is Professor of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley. His award-winning career includes stints at the Louisville Courier-Journal, where he covered the civil rights movement, and the Los Angeles Times, where he was a local reporter, then bureau chief in New Delhi and Jerusalem, and later a Washington correspondent. He was appointed a White House Fellow by then president Gerald R. Ford and later became Jimmy Carter’s associate press secretary. He joined NPR in 1977 and became the founding editor of Morning Edition. At UC Berkeley, Drummond was awarded the 2016 Leon A. Henkin Award for his distinguished service and exceptional commitment to the educational development of students from groups who are underrepresented in the academy.

In his Conversation (captured in the video below), Professor Drummond shares his experiences organizing an inmate-run journalism program at San Quentin State Prison, his time as a founding member of UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and his story of a prison break that was stranger than fiction.