Where Are They Now?


Bill Theobald is a City High School graduate, class of ’75, who now works as a western correspondent for USA Today. He has worked for four different newspapers over 35 years. He has been an investigative reporter, statehouse bureau chief, and a Washington editor.

The Little Hawk: How do you like Washington, D.C.?

Bill Theobald: I love it, I absolutely love it. It’s just the center of everything in the world that is going on. It’s just a wonderful place to live.

LH: What do you think of the White House’s situation right now?

BT: As a journalist, it’s very interesting and something we spend a tremendous amount of time on and resources trying to cover. I think for the public, it can be very confusing because there is so many things coming out of the White House. President Trump is such a dynamic figure that he attracts people who are very passionate in opposition. It’s a real interesting time. So that means that I’m having a real interesting time.

LH: When Trump says that media is fake news, how does that affect you personally and career-wise?

BT: Career-wise, I’ve already staked my claim for what I’m going to do. So that won’t change anything. I generally laugh and get frustrated when I heard that repeated by people who are being critical. I think it is a bad idea, no matter what your political outlook is, for there to be disdain towards the media because we play a crucial role in the operation of the country. So belittling us does nothing to help any situation. He’s the president of the United States. Any time somebody in that position says something it carries weight. You can either agree with it or dismiss it. At the end of the day, he’s gonna get a tremendous amount of coverage on anything.

LH: Which papers have you worked for?

BT: I have worked for the Quad City Times, a paper in Saint Louis that was a startup that didn’t last very long called the Saint Louis Sun, then I went to the Indianapolis Star, then I went out to Washington D.C. In Washington D.C. in essence I’ve worked for all the newspapers that Cadet has, which now is about 120, and USA Today is the largest.

LH: What is one of your favorite stories that you have written?

BT: I’ve covered courts when I was in the Quad Cities. I covered a lot of murder trials, I found those to be the most interesting. They’re not always the nicest situations. It’s like some kind of tiny stage where all the drama is playing out involving life and death. I also covered the first Obama inaugural. It was remarkable because there were so many people in D.C. at the capitol–several million…I was within 20 to 30 feet from Obama. I could turn around and see hundreds of thousands of people going all the way back towards the reflective pool, it was unbelievable.

LH: Which presidents have you interviewed?

BT: I had the chance to meet three or four presidents. I interviewed George Bush the elder when he was running for office many, many years ago. I interviewed his son at the White House. I also interviewed Obama. I haven’t had any ways to interview President Trump yet. I’m more of an editor now, so that’s probably not going to happen.