October 21, 2004

Kiningham is radio-TV alumnus of the year

by Bonnie Marx

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A broadcaster with more than four decades on Illinois' airwaves is the 2004 radio-television alumnus of the year at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Ben Kiningham, Springfield bureau chief for the Illinois Radio Network, will receive the honor on Thursday, Oct. 28. He will present the alumni address at 11 a.m. in the Life Science II Auditorium.

Kiningham began his broadcast career in 1960 while a freshman at SIUC, working as continuity director for WSIU-FM. He worked at stations in Anna, Murphysboro and Springfield before joining the Illinois Radio Network (IRN).

Today, in addition to his work at IRN, he hosts a monthly public television show, "Capitol View with Ben Kiningham," a public affairs program with a panel of reporters discussing the latest political events in the state.

In 2000, the Illinois News Broadcasters Association (INBA) honored Kiningham with the Distinguished Service Award, stating, "For decades Ben Kiningham has kept the people of Illinois informed about the policies, politics, heroes and scoundrels of the statehouse. One thing has been consistent -- Kiningham finding and reporting the facts."

Kiningham also is the recipient of numerous awards from the Associated Press, United Press International and the National Association of State Radio Networks.

A past president of the INBA, Kiningham is president of the Illinois Legislative Correspondents Association. He is a retired lieutenant colonel in the Illinois Air National Guard.

Kiningham and his wife, Beth, live on a small farm near Lincoln's historic New Salem Village and Petersburg.