Dave McKinney, state politics reporter at WBEZ, spent 19 years as the Chicago Sun-Times Springfield bureau chief with additional stops at Reuters and the Daily Herald. His work also has been published in Crain’s Chicago Business, the New York Times and Chicago Magazine.
McKinney, named by the Washington Post in 2014 as one of the country’s best statehouse reporters, has won the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Best-in-Business award, the Chicago Headline Club’s Lisagor Award for political and government reporting, the Chicago Bar Association’s Herman Kogan Award for Meritorious Achievement and the Chicago Journalists Association’s Sarah Brown Boyden Award. McKinney also was named Journalist of the Year by his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University, inducted into the university’s journalism hall of fame and was recipient of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform’s Dawn Clark Netsch “Straight Talk Award” in 2015.
In Springfield, McKinney captured Rod Blagojevich’s final words as governor on the day of his 2009 impeachment by asking if he felt obliged to apologize to Illinoisans. “Sorry for what?” Blagojevich answered in a phrase that became the next day’s front-page headline. McKinney also covered corruption under Blagojevich and George Ryan, came face to face with Fidel Castro during Ryan’s 1999 trip to Cuba and live-tweeted an exorcism by Springfield’s Roman Catholic bishop after Illinois legalized gay marriage in 2013.
A lifelong Illinoisan with family roots downstate, McKinney is married, the proud father of two children and owner of a golden retriever and Wheaten terrier.