Hancock Bio

LynNell Hancock

LynNell Hancock is a reporter, writer and educator specializing in education, juvenile justice and child and family policy issues, who has taught journalism at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism since 1993. She is the director of the Spencer Fellowship for Education Journalism, a program that supports the work of mid-career journalists to study at Columbia and produce significant works of journalism on education topics.                                                                                                                                                                                               

In addition to contributing to Newsweek, Columbia Journalism Review, The Nation and The New York Times, she served on staff of The Village Voice, the New York Daily News, and Newsweek where she covered national and local education issues. She has served on the National Advisory Board of Journalism Fellowships in Child and Family Policy and Columbia University’s Institute for Child and Family Policy. Her most recent story for the Hechingerreport.org and The Nation on resegregation in the Mississippi Delta won the Education Writers Association first prize for national magazine feature writing.

Hancock has written about journalism’s role in the Central Park Jogger case for Columbia Journalism Review and is currently working on a project involving media responsibility and mass incarceration.

Hancock is the author of “Hands to Work: The Stories of Three Families Racing the Welfare Clock” (2002) and contributed to “America’s Mayor” (2005) and “The Public Assault on America’s Children: Poverty, Violence and Juvenile Injustice” (2000).

Hancock holds an M.A. in East Languages and literature and an M.S. in Journalism, both from Columbia.

Hancock served as visiting professor at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, spring semester 2018

Recent video and radio:

Marshall Project: Criminal Justice and Local News, July 2019
WNYC: Justice and Journalism Thirty Years After the Central Park Jogger Case, 2019
Listen to Prof. Hancock on BlogTalkRadio

Recent Work:

When Denver Lost its Mind Over Youth CrimeThe New Republic
The Anonymous Town that was the Model of Desegregation in the Civil Rights Era
The Nation and Hechinger Report
Second Read: Uncommon Ground, Columbia Journalism Review
Why are Finland’s Schools SuccessfulSmithsonian Magazine
Tested: Covering Education in the Age of Micro-measurement,
         Columbia Journalism Review
Waiting for SubstanceColumbia Journalism Review
When Big Data is Bad DataColumbia Journalism Review
School’s Out, The Nation