William H. Freivogel


William H. Freivogel is a professor in the Southern Illinois University School of Journalism, a contributor to St. Louis Public Radio and publisher of the Gateway Journalism Review. Previously, he was director of the journalism school. Before SIU, Freivogel worked 34 years at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he was assistant Washington bureau chief and deputy editorial editor.

Freivogel graduated from Stanford University, where he was co-editor of The Stanford Daily. After a brief stint with Ralph Nader and a briefer stint at Harvard Law School, he got a job at the Post-Dispatch to earn tuition for a return to law school in two years. Two years turned into 34. While a reporter in St. Louis, he wrote stories that led to reform of the bail bond system. After a mentally ill suspect was killed in the Maplewood police station, Freivogel and a colleague wrote stories that led to prosecutions and reform of the department.

In the paper's Washington bureau 1980-­92, Freivogel covered the U.S. Supreme Court. A series on the Reagan administration's attempt to kill the Legal Services Administration won the Emery Brownell award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. An investigation with a colleague into defense fraud by General Dynamics Corp. won the Investigative Reporters and Editors award. And a newspaper project on dioxin contamination of Missouri and mismanagement at the Reagan EPA won the Washington Correspondence Award from the National Press Club. He was the principal contributor of a series about the Constitution that won the Benjamin Franklin Award and the ABA's Silver Gavel. Another series written with his wife about Reagan administration civil rights policies won the Sidney Hillman award. A series about the Bill of Rights won the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Medal and an ABA Silver Gavel.

Freivogel got his law degree from Washington University in 2001 while working as deputy editorial editor. A series of editorials in 2001 about Attorney General John Ashcroft and civil liberties abuses was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Washington University gave Freivogel the 2008 Distinguished Young Alumni award.

Freivogel has written academic articles on publishing national security secrets and on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. He is co-editor of the two-volume SAGE publication on Mass Media Ethics and Law published in 2015.

While in the Post-Dispatch Washington bureau, Freivogel shared a job with his wife, Margaret. After both left the Post-Dispatch in 2005, they were founders of the St. Louis Beacon, one of the nation’s first online news sites. The Beacon has now merged with St. Louis Public Radio, where Margaret Freivogel was the editor. William Freivogel wrote a series of more than 30 stories on the legal aspects of the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson; the stories won the Missouri Bar’s top journalism award in 2015 and an ABA Silver Gavel in 2016.

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