William Freivogel - Visiting Professor
William H. Freivogel came to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1971 to make enough money to go back to law school. He stayed for 34 years. A few years of covering corrupt judges, prosecutors, clerks and cops temporarily cured the law school bug. He spent 12 years in the paper's Washington Bureau where he was assistant bureau chief and covered the U.S. Supreme Court. He has been deputy editorial page editor since 1997.
Freivogel's editorials on John Ashcroft and the Constitution were a finalist in the 2002 Pulitzer Prize competition. He also won Sigma Delta Chi's top award in 1991 for a series on the Bill of Rights and shared with the Sidney Hillman award for a series on Reagan administration civil rights policy changes. He was the main contributor to a 1987 series marking the bicentennial of the Constitution; the series won the Benjamin Franklin award for the best newspaper series on that subject.
In his early years in Washington, he won the Emery A. Brownell Award for stories influential in blocking the Reagan administration's attempt to kill the Legal Services Corp. He shared the Investigative Reporters and Editors award and National Press Club's Washington correspondence award for stories on defense fraud at General Dynamics Corp. He also won a Washington correspondence award for reporting on dioxin contamination in Missouri and political machinations within the Environmental Protection Agency.
He won three Connie Rosenbaum awards in the 1970s for stories that reformed the St. Louis bail bond system and cleaned up a corrupt suburban police department after a suspect was killed in police custody.
Freivogel graduated from Stanford University and Washington University law school. He is a member of the Missouri Bar. He and his wife, Margaret, shared a job during their years in the Washington Bureau. She was the Post-Dispatch's Sunday Editor. They have four children, ages 22 to 30.
Freivogel took early retirement from the Post-Dispatch in December 2005 to become university professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale during 2006. During the course of his tenure with the institute, he was named interim director of the SIUC School of Journalism and subsequently became its permanent director.
For the institute, Freivogel taught in the areas of journalism and law and spearheaded efforts to organize and lead an initiative to examine possible means of addressing conflicts that arise when prosecutors and other key players in the legal system want journalists to reveal confidential sources and seek other materials that reporters regard as private. He also brought together local government officials and journalists to discuss and debate implications, requirements and ramifications of Illinois' Open Meetings Law. His affiliation with the institute continues through his work on various projects and programs.