Margaret Wolf Freivogel

Editor

Margaret Wolf Freivogel is the editor of St. Louis Public Radio. She was the founding editor of the St. Louis Beacon, a nonprofit news organization, from 2008 to 2013. A St. Louis native, Margie previously worked for 34 years at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as a reporter, Washington correspondent and assistant managing editor. She has received numerous awards for reporting as well as a lifetime achievement award from the St. Louis Press Club and the Missouri Medal of Honor from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She is a past board member of the Investigative News Network and a past president of Journalism and Women Symposium. Margie graduated from Kirkwood High School and Stanford University. She is married to William H. Freivogel. They have four grown children and seven grandchildren. Margie enjoys rowing and is a fan of chamber music.

Ways To Connect

St. Louis Public Radio switched to a new website design this week, and the reaction was generally positive. The most common complaint was confusion about how to listen to radio streams through the website, and we're working to make that clearer.

St. Louis Public Radio's website transitioned on Wednesday to a new design that is intended to make our content easy to access no matter what size screen you're using.

This responsive design displays content in ways that are appropriate for each device. On a laptop, for example, you'll see several stories at once on the homepage, as in the previous design. On a phone, you'll be able to scroll through the same content in a format that's easier to read on a small screen. In all versions, the goal is to provide news that matters through a clean, useful design.

at the post office s. grand 11.26
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

News organizations should focus outward on what’s happening in our communities and how we can serve them better. But our ability to focus outward is affected by many internal factors. Two developments this week, will in different ways, shape how St. Louis Public Radio serves you.

Police and protesters scuffle after police union business manager Jeff Roorda allegedly grabbed a protester at a January 28 meeting oh the public safety committee.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The subpoena served on St. Louis Public Radio Thursday is both baffling and disturbing.

Rotary Club of Overland mug
Margaret Wolf Freivogel

It was still dark when the Rotary Club of Overland gathered Wednesday morning at Russo’s restaurant on Page. At a time when north St. Louis County is in the international spotlight for what’s wrong, the meeting cast a sliver of light on what’s right.

In the months since Michael Brown’s death at the hands of then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, North County has been at the center of a debate of cosmic proportions. It concerns long-simmering, wide-ranging issues of race, fairness and opportunity.

(St. Louis Public Radio file photo)

Think what you will of the proposal to spend at least $860 million on a new football stadium, the announcement last week revealed a few telling things about St. Louis:

Rams media

Discussion of Ferguson-related issues continued to simmer this week. Meanwhile, questions about the Rams’ future boiled into prominence.

Oddly, the two conversations are happening mostly in isolation from each other, even though both revolve around the same fundamental concern: How to create a future for our region that will make St. Louisans want to stay and newcomers want to come?

Demonstrators calling for justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown held a moment of silence outside the Fox Theatre on Sunday, December 7, 2014.
Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

The grand jury has made its decision. Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is approaching. And still, Ferguson-related protests continue.

This week, they materialized outside “Annie” at the Fox, in Jennings and in several other cities. Many St. Louisans are wondering when the unrest will end.

You can’t answer that question without asking others. What do protesters want? Who speaks for them? Who holds the power to solve the problems they raise? None of these perfectly logical questions has an easy answer.

News producer and weekend newscaster Camille Phillips, health reporter Durrie Bouscaren, race and culture reporting fellow Emanuele Berry, and arts and culture reporter Willis Arnold.
Photos provided by the journalists

Next week marks the one-year anniversary of a big change at St. Louis Public Radio. It transformed our work, but you may not know how.

So let’s celebrate the merger of St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon by considering why it matters. It’s simple. At a time when news media are undergoing historic upheaval and when news coverage of St. Louis has never mattered more, the merger has enabled us to serve you better.

Shells of used cars are all that remain after they were destroyed by fire during a night of turmoil in Ferguson Nov. 25.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The bleak reality of St. Louis this Thanksgiving casts the holiday in shadows deeper than any I can recall – save one other year.

Those shadows harbor our region’s flaws – recent and longstanding, absurd and epic, unwitting and unforgivable. Since Aug. 9, these shortcomings have been on display in stark silhouette against the unrelenting spotlight of international media attention.

Ferguson public safety press conference, 11-11-14. Belmar, Dotson, Ron Johnson, Isom, Bret Johnson, Replogle
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louisans may disagree on many things related to Michael Brown’s death, but we’ve been united in anxiety during the long wait for a St. Louis County grand jury’s decision on whether to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

When? What then? How will that affect each of us immediately and all of us long term? These questions have been hanging over everyone — from those directly involved in the protest or law enforcement to those who live far from Ferguson and see no direct connection to the issues raised there.

Protest at Steve Stenger's election party
Chris McDaniel | St. Louis Public Radio

Tuesday’s election would be boring. Vote anyway. That’s what I said last week. But election night turned out to be anything but boring. And so many voters turned out in St. Louis County that a fifth of the polling places ran out of paper ballots.

Vote here sign
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Imagine a split screen view of St. Louis. In one image, events in Ferguson are driving intense interest in a daunting array of community issues. They can’t be resolved without leadership from elected officials. In the other image, candidates are running for office in an election Tuesday that has attracted almost no interest.

What’s wrong with this picture? In a democracy, voters hold the ultimate power. Yet many citizens are having a hard time seeing what difference their votes will make.

At the Michael Brown memorial in mid-August
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

How much news coverage of Ferguson is too much?

Judging from the unscientific sampling of opinion I’ve heard over the last two months, St. Louisans have starkly different answers to that question. Some are fed up. Others think news organizations are only beginning to pay appropriate attention to police-community tensions, African American experiences and issues of racial disparity.

USE THIS Powell Symphony Hall
Alise O'Brien | St. Louis Symphony

Some Ferguson protesters caused a stir this week with demonstrations that confronted people outside Ferguson — first at Powell Hall, where the St. Louis Symphony was performing the Brahms Requiem, and later at Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals were winning the division championship.

Detail from woodcut of 1878 parade
Missouri History Museum Photographs and Prints Collections

The bomb strikes in Syria this week put the spotlight on the Khorasan group, a little-known offshoot of al-Qaida. But once again, as skeptics on the left and right so often suspect, the media don’t seem to be telling the whole story.

The media didn't tell you, for example, that in St. Louis, we spell Khorassan with a double S – or that we're already quite familiar with the sometimes-controversial history of a local group with Khorassan connections.

Protests and chants came into the St. Louis County Council chambers Tuesday night.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Six weeks after Michael Brown’s death, certain key demands and questions are reverberating from the Big Bang of protest that erupted in Ferguson. Priorities seem to be emerging even though the protesters themselves – and the official and unofficial groups discussing what should happen -- have conflicting ideas and no central organization.

Jason Rosenbaum | file Photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Anger boiled up again when the Ferguson City Council met this week. It was the first meeting since Michael Brown’s death sparked upheaval here and since upheaval here created the possibility of a national reckoning with issues that reach far beyond Ferguson.

Our region will continue to play a pivotal role in determining whether the nation seizes this moment to tackle its Gordian knot of problems related to race, fairness, opportunity and mutual respect.

Capt. Ron Johnson
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

Having trouble understanding what’s going on in Ferguson? That may be because #Ferguson is a new kind of protest. In #Ferguson, leadership is self-designated. Divisions — by race, age and motivation — are complicated. And Twitter gives everyone an instant international audience.

In the last couple weeks, I’ve heard #Ferguson explained in simple terms. They’re not entirely wrong. But they’re not completely right. Here are six common half-truths and what they reveal about what’s really going on:

Ferguson Farmers Market

What will we learn from a week that will weigh heavy on the hearts of St. Louisans for years to come? These tumultuous days have changed the way we see each other and the way the world sees us.

The fury that unfolded after a police officer killed Michael Brown in Ferguson laid bare some of our area's underlying fault lines. It raised questions we usually leave buried. And it presented to the world an image of our region that those of us who live here didn’t always recognize and might rather not see.

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