University News

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Writer to Speak at WIU Journalism Day March 10

March 3, 2010

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MACOMB, IL - - Todd C. Frankel, an award-winning metro general assignment reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will be the keynote speaker for Western Illinois University's 2010 Journalism Day Wednesday, March 10.

Frankel was a key reporter in the Post-Dispatch's daily coverage of the "Missouri Miracle," the kidnapping and rescue of youths Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. He was a finalist for the Livingston Award in 2006 and won a Sigma Delta Chi award for feature writing and a Casey Medal for coverage of families and children in 2002. When the St. Louis Riverfront Times named him the best newspaper reporter (Sept. 29, 2004), he was praised for his ability to report with equal comfort and enthusiasm on events including a horseradish festival, a fiery car crash, a double murder or a flu epidemic.

A graduate of the University of Delaware, Frankel previously worked at The Herald in Everett, WA; The Daily Mail in Charleston, WV; and The Gleaner in Henderson, KY. He often speaks on three main topics: making sense of the Missouri Miracle; bringing pizzazz to mundane topics; and telling compelling stories in 20 inches or less.

At Western, Frankel will speak about "How to Tell Compelling Stories on Deadline" to journalism students at 4:30 p.m. at the Western Courier office in the Heating Plant Annex.

He will present "Breaking Away From the Pack: Finding and Telling the Overlooked Story," at 7 p.m. in the University Union Sandburg Theatre. This presentation is open free to the public.

Frankel's visit is sponsored by the WIU Visiting Lectures Committee, the English and journalism department and the WIU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

The American Society of Newspaper Editors awarded Frankel the 2008 Jesse Laventhol Prize for Deadline News Reporting by an Individual. His winning stories were published in the 2008-2009 edition of the anthology "Best Newspaper Writing" (links to the winning stories follow):

"Among these honored dead, fresh graves in section N"

"Boys were hidden in plain sight"

"Crowds gather to catch a glimpsw - One mom's reaction: 'I've just got to see what such a monster looks like'"

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