Ryan Thornburg is director of the Reese News Lab and teaches classes in data-driven reporting and media economics. With funding from the Knight Foundation, Google and the National Science Foundation he develops tools and techniques that use data to lower the cost and increase the quality of local journalism. He is also a part of the School's Center for Innovation & Sustainability in Local Media.

He is also a faculty mentor in UNC's Johnston Scholars program and from 2015-17, he was director of the School's M.A. program.

Before joining the School in 2007, Thornburg spent a decade in leadership positions in online newsrooms, mostly working on national and international news at The Washington Post.



  • M.A., George Washington University
  • B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill