After graduating with honors from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1969, Jim Bettinger worked in daily newspapers for the next 20 years, as a reporter, editorial writer and editor at the Riverside (California) Press-Enterprise, and at the San Jose Mercury News, where he was city editor/AM. He was a Stanford Professional Journalism Fellow in 1982-83.
He was named deputy director of the Knight Fellowships program in 1989, and he became director Sept. 1, 2000. In the department of Communication he has taught courses in opinion writing, feature and analytical writing, and literary journalism. He has also taught creative non-fiction in Stanford’s Continuing Studies Program. He is chair of the department’s Daniel Pearl Memorial Journalism Internship committee.
Bettinger has been a writing and editing consultant and speaker, beginning in the late 1980s with Knight Ridder and continuing with the American Press Institute, the Society of Professional Journalists, the UC Berkeley School of Journalism and the Contra Costa Times. He was a regular columnist for the San Jose Mercury News Sunday magazine from 1990-96, and his articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, MSNBC.com and other publications. From 1997-2000 he was co-host and interviewer of “Interchange” on the Stanford Channel. He is a member of the Advisory Council of the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley, as well as numerous journalism organizations.