Kaskaskia College is pleased to welcome Journalist William Recktenwald on Monday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m. in the KC Lifelong Learning Center. Recktenwald is the Kaskaskia College Foundation Teachers and Coaches Entrepreneurship Program 2013 “Distinguished Lecturer”.
Recktenwald joined the faculty of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1999 and currently serves as a senior lecturer and journalist-in-residence for the School of Journalism.
Recktenwald teaches courses in News Writing and Reporting, Public Affairs Reporting, Feature Writing, Multi-Media Project and Investigative Reporting. He also works with the staff of the Daily Egyptian, an award-winning student-operated newspaper with a circulation of 20,000, and is faculty adviser to the student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Recktenwald served as Investigative Reporter and Deputy Chicago Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune from 1978 to 1999. During his time there, he worked on many award-winning stories, which had a significant impact in the community. Recktenwald was a major contributor to the Tribune’s "Killing Our Children" effort in 1993. The series, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, documented the murder of every one of the 65 children slain in the Chicago area that year. In 1984 he wrote a series of reports about street gangs in Chicago, detailing how they had become increasingly sophisticated and violent. Recktenwald was one of the reporters who worked on "The American Millstone," a 36-part series published in 1985 about a group of people who constitute a special segment of the American underclass. Recktenwald is a co-author of The American Millstone; An Examination of the Nation’s Permanent Underclass, published in 1986 by Contemporary Books. The 307-page volume is a collection of the Tribune articles. In 1978, he went undercover, working as a guard in the Pontiac State Prison, where a riot three months earlier had led to the deaths of three guards. His reports on prison conditions led to a restructuring of the state prison system and earned Recktenwald the Edward Scott Beck Award, the Chicago Tribune’s highest editorial award. While at the newspaper he contributed to stories that received nominations for the Pulitzer Prize nine times. Four of those were finalists.
While vacationing in Sri Lanka in 2004, Recktenwald was caught in the waters of the deadly tsunami. He wrote about his experience for the Chicago Tribune and returned to Sri Lanka in March 2005 to file additional stories for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about the recovery efforts. During the March visit he gathered material for a report used by National Public Radio and aired by WSIU and Chicago Public Radio.
In 2008, Recktenwald was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist for service in Uganda, and in that same year, he was inducted in to the Chicago Journalism Hall of Fame. He was invited by the U.S. Department of State to conduct a series of training sessions for journalists in Maldives and Sri Lanka, as well as a series of public lectures about American journalism during January 2006 as part of the Distinguished Speaker Program.
Recktenwald is a co-author of The Illinois Story - The State’s History and Competitive Edge Today, published in 2002 by the Illinois Publishing Group. He was also the lead instructor for The Shawnee Project, a student produced book, The Shawnee Forrest : Illinois' Hidden Gem.