February 10, 2012
Veteran journalist Richard Babcock, longtime editor of Chicago magazine, has been named Distinguished Journalist in Residence at Knox College.
He will teach two journalism classes during the 2012 spring term at Knox.
"Editorial Vision: Feature Writing" will focus on narrative nonfiction, and students will produce professional-quality, magazine-style pieces.
"The Editorial Process" will concentrate on how to identify a likely story and its audience, how to gather information for a story, and how to shape it for maximum impact. Students in this class also will produce professional-quality, magazine-style pieces.
"Reporting, writing, and editing are useful across a lot of different fields," said Babcock, who stepped down as editor of Chicago magazine in April 2011, after working there for 20 years. He previously was a senior editor at New York magazine.
"You've got to be able to find what makes a story," he said. "I've been out there in the marketplace, on the front lines. For 30 years, I've been telling writers: Tell me what the story is, and why anybody should care."
Babcock also has authored two novels, Martha Calhoun and Bow's Boy.
He spoke on the Knox campus in 2002, offering tips to students about good feature writing, reading excerpts from pieces in Chicago magazine, and answering students' questions. (Photo at top: Babcock speaks to Knox College students and faculty in 2002 in the Alumni Room of Old Main.)