Susan King , the dean of UNC’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said though she has not worked with Cloud for long, he will be deeply missed.
“Bill is an ‘editor's editor’ and a true gentleman of the news business,” she said. “He is a professor who loved his profession and the call of reporting and writing.”
Cloud’s passion for teaching was obvious to both students and fellow professors, King said.
Ryan Smith , a former news editing student of Cloud’s, said Cloud was incredibly knowledgeable.
“There’s no denying that he knows editing rules inside and out,” he said.
“Taking his class made me realize I don't know anywhere near as much about English grammar as I thought I did. “
Smith said the class taught him more than just news editing.
“Having taken the class I feel like I have learned so much about the editing process as well as AP style and general paper design,” he said. “I am definitely walking away from the class with a lot more knowledge and expertise on the subject.”
Cloud said one of his favorite parts of teaching is seeing what his students do after graduation.
“I’ve always loved dealing with students, and I take great pride in seeing students who work at the New York Times or Washington Post,” he said.
“It’s good to know that there are a lot of people who are successes who came from my classes.”
And Cloud said the process of copy-editing has changed dramatically since he began the work many years ago.
“Before, you would often see a story that one person typed up and the assigning editor would make pencil changes and it would be kind of a mess,” he said.
Cloud said current technology makes it easier to edit, but the experience is not quite the same.
“The tactile sensation of editing with a big thick pencil — that was kind of good,” he said. “That part of it felt better than working on a computer.”
Cloud said he still plans to work as an editor for the magazine All About Beer after he retires from UNC-CH, but plans to dedicate more time to photography and his golf game.
Journalism professor Andy Bechtel said Cloud has been a tremendous asset to UNC.
“In his classes, Bill communicated a love of language and an appreciation for accuracy,” he said. “We'll continue that tradition, of course, but we will miss Bill.”