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Bill Whitaker to receive Distinguished Journalist Award from DePaul University

Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence also honors DePaul alumna Heidi Wigdahl

A profile picture of Bill Whitaker, CBS 60 Minutes Correspondent
Bill Whitaker will receive the Distinguished Journalist Award from DePaul University's Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence. (Courtesy of CBS News)
CHICAGO — Bill Whitaker, longtime 60 Minutes correspondent, and KARE-TV reporter Heidi Wigdahl, a 2010 DePaul University alumna, will receive awards this spring from the Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence. Whitaker will be honored with the Distinguished Journalism Award and Wigdahl with the Distinguished Alumna Award for their significant contributions to journalism.

With more than four decades in broadcasting, Whitaker has covered stories at home and abroad with precision and fairness. His reporting on race and policing, the opioid crisis and immigration, shed light on pressing issues. He has won the profession’s most prestigious awards including a George Foster Peabody medal and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Silver Baton.

Wigdahl, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from DePaul, has reported on stories in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region for the last six years. Her work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association and Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association.

Center co-directors Carol Marin and Don Moseley will present the awards at a luncheon at the Union League Club on April 28. Previous recipients of the Distinguished Journalist Award are Lester Holt of “NBC Nightly News”; Jane Pauley of “CBS Sunday Morning”; Dean Baquet of The New York Times and former ABC7 anchor Ron Magers. Previous recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Awards are Jeremy Gorner of the Chicago Tribune; Ben Welsh of the Los Angeles Times; Ann Pistone of ABC7 Chicago; and Lourdes Duarte of WGN-TV.

Whitaker produces complicated stories with ‘clarity and care’

“Bill Whitaker represents the finest in journalism,” Marin said. “He listens, he investigates, and above all, he reports with fairness and humanity.”

Whitaker has reported on presidential campaigns, the pro-democracy uprising in Tiananmen Square and the build-up to Desert Storm in Baghdad. More recently, he partnered with the Washington Post to investigate the origins of the opioid crisis. The reporting revealed how a law pushed by drug industry lobbyists interfered with the government’s efforts to curb the epidemic. The reporting forced the Trump administration to withdraw the nomination for drug czar of a congressman who sponsored the law.

“Bill has a broad reach, a keen interest in a diverse range of subjects and the ability to translate complex news stories with clarity and care,” Marin added. “And always, with integrity. He is the epitome of a distinguished journalist.”

Whitaker holds a bachelor’s degree in American History from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, a master’s degree in African American studies from Boston University, and a master’s in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. He reflects on the fact he is receiving the award during a fraught time for his profession.

“Reporters have been assailed in countries across the world, many have lost their lives. Here at home, local newspapers are on life support, and journalists find our very credibility under assault,” he said. “Integrity is essential to our profession — especially in times like these. What an incredible honor to be recognized with this award.”

Wigdahl offers help to young journalists

Since graduating from DePaul, Wigdahl has distinguished herself at broadcast news outlets in Minnesota and Tennessee.

Profile photo of Heidi Wigdahl
KARE-TV reporter Heidi Wigdahl, a 2010 DePaul University alumna, will receive the Distinguished Alumna Award from the Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence.
“We’ve watched Heidi grow at DePaul and ever since,” said Moseley. “It is not only her outstanding work that distinguishes her, but also her willingness to mentor younger journalists across the country. She is truly exceptional.”

Wigdahl studied journalism and creative writing at DePaul, where she was named “Journalism Student of the Year.” She served as an anchor for Good Day DePaul and news editor for The DePaulia, and interned for the DePaul Documentary Project, where she helped produce stories with Marin and Moseley for NBC 5.

After graduating, she started her career in Rochester, Minnesota, at Fox 47 as an anchor and reporter. She then moved to Knoxville, Tennessee where her reporting earned her "Best TV Reporter” from the Tennessee Associated Press. In 2015, she returned to Minneapolis-St. Paul to join KARE-TV.

“To now be recognized by the mentors and school that set the foundation for my career as a journalist is an honor and a full circle moment for me,” Wigdahl said.

The Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence

A longtime investigative reporting and producing team, Marin and Moseley have mentored more than 50 DePaul interns since 2003, showing them the ropes of investigative journalism. In 2016, DePaul launched the Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence in the College of Communication with Marin and Moseley as co-directors to provide students with more opportunities to gain real-world experience. For more information about the center, visit


Carol Marin 

Don Moseley 

Media contact:
Mary Hansen