John Hamer's Resume

John C. Hamer

3824 East Mercer Way

Mercer Island, WA 98040


Executive Director, Washington News Council, Seattle, WA (1998-present)

  • Founded nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c3 organization as independent forum for media fairness to help maintain public trust in news media.
  • Organized 12-member Founding Board and recruited 24 original Council/Board members; coordinated board members over 10+ years.
  • Raised sufficient funds to support organization from foundations, individuals, corporations, associations and the media, including $250,000 grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Built Council from small start-up to statewide organization with credibility and respect, including from many media outlets.
  • Oversaw complaint process, handling 24 formal complaints from citizens that led to public hearings and/or mediated settlements.
  • Conducted 30 “mock hearings” in college and high-school journalism classes statewide, using actual News Council complaint cases.
  • Organized 20 panels and forums that brought journalists and citizens together to discuss media performance, standards and ethics.
  • Created scholarship program to give $2,000 scholarships annually to graduating high-school seniors and current college undergraduates.
  • Initiated Citizens Online News Council in 2009 to hold a “virtual hearing” on a major complaint by inviting the public to “vote” online.
  • Won $250,000 grant from Knight Foundation to sponsor nationwide contest to start two more news councils (New England, California).
  • Won grants from Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Archibald, Medina and other foundations.

Media Critic, CounterPoint Center for ReMEDIAtion, Seattle (1996-98)

· Co-founded non-profit center to review, analyze and critique print, broadcast and online news media in Washington State.

· Co-edited “CounterPoint,” a monthly newsletter of media criticism.

· Co-authored “Watchdogs,” a regular media column in Seattle Weekly.

· Freelanced columns on media issues in The Seattle Times, Seattle P-I.

Vice President, Washington Institute for Policy Studies (1994-98)

· Helped formulate policy and outreach as part of management team for non-profit statewide public-policy think tank.

· Directed institute’s publicity efforts and public-affairs program.

Senior Fellow/Publicity Director, Discovery Institute, Seattle (1990-1994)

· Named first Senior Fellow of non-profit think tank (originally Hudson Institute West) to address city, state, national, and international issues.

· Co-authored “International Seattle: Creating a Globally Competitive Community,” a study with 30 regional policy recommendations.

· Organized day-long conference on study’s recommendations, featuring panels of elected officials, academics, and journalists.

Associate Editorial-Page Editor, Editorial Writer/Columnist, The Seattle Times (1977-1990)

  • Wrote editorials and columns for major metropolitan daily on wide range of topics, with special focus on energy and environment issues.
  • Created Sunday “Issues,” a 4-page opinion section that included commentary and analysis by local and national writers, plus editorial, op-ed and letters pages. Edited that section for more than 10 years.
  • Supervised editorial writers/staffers after being named Associate Editor, including op-ed and letters page oversight.
  • Attended several meetings of National Conference of Editorial Writers (NCEW), American Press Institute (API), and Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).
  • Won numerous regional SPJ awards for editorials and columns.

Associate Editor/Staff Writer, Congressional Quarterly/Editorial Research Reports, Washington, D.C. (1971-77)

· Wrote and edited weekly stories and monthly reports for CQ/ERR.

· Covered Congress for CQ with focus on energy/environment issues.

· Supervised staff after promotion to Associate Editor at ERR.

Fellow, Washington Journalism Center, Washington, D.C. (Fall 1970)

· Won four-month fellowship awarded to 15 young journalists.

· Wrote regular articles for College Press Service while on fellowship.

Reporter, The Oregon Journal, Portland (1968-69)

· Wrote general-assignment, police, business, feature stories, plus concert/book/movie reviews, and Sunday magazine articles.


Stanford University, Master of Arts, Journalism/Communication (1970)

Dartmouth College, Bachelor’s Degree (English) with Distinction (1968)

Lake Oswego (Oregon) High School, Graduated with Honors (1964)


Rotary Club of Seattle – Member of world’s largest Rotary Club; chaired Totem (weekly online newsletter) Committee; co-authored and edited club’s 100th anniversary report in 2009.

Boys and Girls Club – Tutored 4th-6th grade students in inner-city Central neighborhood of Seattle.

Youth Tutoring Program – Tutored 7th-9th grade students in two public-housing projects in Roxbury and High Point neighborhoods of Seattle.

Cross-Country Ski Instructor – Taught XC skiing to children and adults at Ski Acres Cross Country Center, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington.

“Gridiron West Dinner” Impresario – Originated and produced annual events to honor leading local journalists, community leaders and elected officials; drew 400-500 attendees every year for 10 consecutive years. Wrote parody songs and helped prepare video/photo tributes to honorees.

Highlight of Career – Persuaded Bill Gates, Chairman/CEO of Microsoft, to sing “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof at 2005 Gridiron West Dinner event honoring his father, Bill Gates Sr., in Seattle.