Three journalists whose range of experiences have included coverage of the skywalk collapse of a Kansas City Hotel, the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge and major farm policy in the United States, are the newest inductees into the Bill Miller Public Affairs Reporting (PAR) Hall of Fame at the University of Illinois Springfield.
The inductees, who will be honored March 9, include Chicago Tribune reporter Robert Secter, St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial writer Deborah Peterson, and former Reuters correspondent Chuck Abbott. The three are former students of the UIS Public Affairs Reporting Program and have gone on to distinguished careers in journalism across the country and the globe.
Secter graduated from the PAR program in 1974. He spent 14 years at the Los Angeles Times including stints as foreign and national correspondent. Secter was an assistant editor at the Chicago Sun Times and, since 1995, has been with the Chicago Tribune, where he is the Illinois political editor. During his career he covered the U.S invasion into Panama, the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge rule in Cambodia and the fall of two Illinois governors.
Deborah Peterson is a member of the PAR class of 1978. She is an editorial page writer at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch where she has worked since 1985. She also worked for the Kansas City Star and the Associated Press. She was part of the Star’s Pulitzer Prize award winning staff that covered the 1981 collapse of the Hyatt Regency Hotel skywalk which killed more than 100 people.
A 1975 graduate Chuck Abbott, is also a Hall of Fame inductee. A long-time commodities and farm policy correspondent for Reuters, Abbott now edits and writes for the Washington, D.C. based Food and Environment Network, which is a non-profit organization focused on food and agriculture policy. Prior to his work at Reuters, Abbott reported for United Press International and served as UPI’s farm editor. He is a past president of the North American Farm Journalists.
An induction ceremony will be held on March 9 at 5:30 p.m. in the Conservatory Room of the Inn at 835, located at 835 S. 2nd St. in Springfield. Register online at www.uiaa.org/uisparhof/ or call 217/206-7163.
The PAR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is sponsored by the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership. The Hall of Fame is named in honor of Bill Miller, an award-winning journalist who served as the PAR program’s director for 19 years.
The UIS Public Affairs Reporting program is a one-year, professionally-oriented master's degree program that prepares students to become a working reporter covering public affairs in its broadest sense — informing readers, listeners and viewers about ongoing events and activities that impact on their daily lives.
For more information, contact Bill Wheelhouse, WUIS Executive Editor, at 217/206-6402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.