Mike Reilley

Instructor, SPJ/ONA Faculty Advisor
(402) 416-5668
14 E. Jackson Blvd., Room 1106
Mike Reilley teaches several classes at DePaul University: Online Journalism I and II, News Editing, Multiplatform News Editing, Reporting for Converged Newsrooms and Online Sports Reporting.

In January 2011, he and his Online Journalism II class launched The Red Line Project​​ , a community news website that focuses on neighborhoods along Chicago’s Red Line El stops. The site and student work have won more than 40 national, regional and local awards in its first 3 1/2 years. In October 2013, the site became one of the first mobile student sites in the country to use responsive web design.

Reilley also serves as DePaul's Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)/Online News Association (ONA) faculty advisor and is a member of the SPJ National Board of Directors. He and six students founded SPJ DePaul in 2010 and it has grown to 73 members. The group expanded in December 2013 to include ONA under its umbrella and rebranded as SPJ/ONA DePaul (@spjonadepaul).

The organization was named SPJ National Campus Chapter of the Year, Region 5 Campus Chapter of the Year and DePaul’s Most Outstanding Student Organization in 2011, then repeated as National and Regional Campus Chapter of the Year in 2013. Reilley received SPJ's David Eshelman Award as the National Outstanding Campus Adviser in 2013, and was DePaul’s Faculty Adviser of the Year in 2012.

He is a former reporter and copy editor at the Los Angeles Times and was one of the founding editors of ChicagoTribune.com. He’s a former news editor at WashingtonPost.com and ran the 2000 Summer Olympics copy desk for AOL. Reilley also founded the journalism research site, The Journalist’s Toolbox, which he sold to the Society of Professional Journalists in 2007 and continues to update for SPJ.

He also speaks and teaches about online journalism and digital-first thinking at many conferences, including AEJMC, SPJ and the National Conference of Editorial Writers. He served as an instructor at the 2012 Ted Scripps Leadership Institute, training SPJ leaders on how to launch and program their chapters. At the 2012 AEJMC convention, he was interviewed by Harvard’s Kennedy School about the future of online journalism and education. He spoke about Google Glass at the 2014 Journalism/Interactive conference and served on a newsroom collaboration panel at the 2013 Google for Media conference in Chicago. He also presented at CUNY’s Entrepreneurial Journalism Educator’s conference in 2014. He is a member of the 2014 Online News Association programming committee and is presenting on mobile journalism at the national conference in Chicago.

Reilley has a master’s degree in journalism/newspaper-media management from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He graduated at the top of his Medill class and received the Harrington Award, the school’s highest academic honor. He taught full-time at Medill from 1997 to 2000 and laid the groundwork for the school's online journalism curriculum. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was editor of his college newspaper, The Daily Nebraskan.

You can reach him on Twitter @journtoolbox or @redlineproject. You also can reach him through LinkedIn. His resources are posted on the social bookmarking site Delicious​.

Mike's former DePaul and Northwestern students work for ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, NBC News, The Food Network, Variety, Hearst Television and GateHouse Media.​


The Red Line Project (Present-2011)​
DePaul University Term Faculty Teaching Award, College of Communication (2014)
DePaul Engage Socially Responsible Faculty Award (2013 and 2014)
AEJMC Teaching News in the 21st Century (third place) (2013)
AEJMC Best of the Web (Red Line Project design; third place) (2013)​
DePaul University Faculty Advisor of the Year (2012-2011) 
SPJ National Volunteer of the Month (October 2011)


Society of Professional Journalists National Board of Directors​
Online News Association
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication
Associated Collegiate Press Advisors
Associated Press Managing Editors
DePaul Advisors Network