Professor William Mari


As a kid, with his dad in the U.S. Army, Will moved with his family numerous times across the country to military bases and small towns. He grew up with a love for meeting new people and reading and watching the news. When he went first to Bellevue Community College (now just Bellevue College), then transferred to the University of Washington, he found that journalism and history were far and away his favorite subjects. The first let him take a variety of classes, meet new people, and generally be “in the know” about his world. The second gave him context for how that world came to be.

Working one afternoon at The Daily (the UW’s campus newspaper), he noticed the pneumatic tubes lining the vividly orange walls (which were also covered with colorful epithets from editors past). An older staffer explained to him that the tubes once carried copy (drafts of stories) to the basement, where they were laid out and printed. This story fascinated him, and led to a larger and longer fascination with the history of newsrooms, news work and media history more broadly.

He went to Wolfson College, Cambridge, for his M.Phil. in history before returning to the UW for his Ph.D. in communication. Today, he’s excited to make history and journalism relevant and relatable to his students. His inspirations include G.K. Chesterton, Evelyn Waugh and pretty much all the Inklings.

He is married to the wonderful Dr. Ruth Moon Mari. He also actively involved in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s history division, as well as the American Journalism Historians Association.


Fundamentals of Speech
Mass Communication
Student Media: Visual Journalism
Student Media: Interpretive Journalism