Author, Award-Winning Journalist
I've been a journalist in DC since the 1980s. See some of that work here and learn more about me.
In the Press
"The first great story of the new century, and Bill Lambrecht owns it. At the juncture of science and politics, he reports and writes with unmodified purity."
Richard Ben Cramer
"So rich in anecdotes, so populated by colorful characters, no brief summary can convey the range of information or the writing style that flows so pleasantly."
"If we are what we eat, everyone should be concerned about the story Lambrecht tells."
"He underscores the pervasiveness of genetically modified products in the United States in a masterful opening chapter. A terrific job humanizing the story.
"Dinner at the New Gene Cafe gives consumers, farmers, and environmentalists plenty of food for thought about the need to take food-policy control away from the corporate profiteers."
"Whimsical, fun and filled with facts, Lambrecht takes what could be a dry topic and dishes out a great read."
On Capitol Hill with unimpeachable sources.
Bill has been a political and investigative reporter in Washington since the 1980s in a career that began as an intern and later a correspondent in the Illinois Statehouse, in his home state.
He has won a number of journalism prizes and was nominated for the Pulitzer on multiple occasions. He is the author of two books, including the acclaimed Dinner at the New Gene Café. He is co-founder of his family's Bay Weekly in Annapolis, the largest weekly newspaper covering Chesapeake Bay.
Bill joined the Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau in 2013 as an investigative reporter and now writes principally for Hearst’s San Antonio Express-News. Before Hearst, he was Washington bureau chief of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Bill has covered presidential campaigns since the 1980s, attending 16 national conventions. He has focused a fair amount on Congress, albeit grudgingly after toxic politics left Capitol Hill largely incapable of dealing with Americans’ problems. Over the years he has reported often at the intersection of politics and science on a mix of public policy matters, from biotechnology to biofuels to water policy on America’s big rivers. He has conducted many environmental investigations, some on foreign soils.
Bill has operated in many places. For stories – and later a book -- on the global uprising over genetically modified food, he traveled in 12 countries, among them India, Brazil and Peru. From Yemen, he reported on honor killings and abuse of women. He did groundbreaking work on the “Circle of Poison,” reporting from across Central America on poisonings from pesticides banned or unregistered in the United States. Back home, he documented return of these dangerous chemicals on fruits and vegetables relying on data obtained under Freedom of Information laws.
In 2006, Bill reported from Nigeria on exploitative dumping, a topic he has returned to often. His story showed how computers and electronic detritus dropped off in the United States for recycling ended burned, scattered and polluting the West African countryside. That reporting scored a bonus exclusive: Nigerian fraudsters mining computers for Americans’ financial data and personal information. At a time when less was known about identity theft, hard-drives Bill purchased in Lagos open markets yielded Social Security numbers, medical records, school grade reports and even private photos of unsuspecting Americans.
Bill deploys water sampling in environmental sleuthing. Samples he retrieved in KwaZulu province in South Africa for an award-winning series contained some of the highest concentrations of mercury pollution on record. His reporting about the sham recycling of mercury wastes shipped from the United States triggered an international scandal, protests on three continents and later a visit to KwaZulu from Nelson Mandela when workers fell ill with nervous system disorders. (Curriculum vitae on request.)
Julian? Joaquin? My 2016 Democratic National Convention Castro Contest.
A Rat and a Dude Before the Medium Drowned the Message
It was just after 4 AM in Detroit on the opening night of the 1980 Republican National Convention. My employer at the time, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, still was an evening paper, which meant a 6AMish deadline and all-night hustling to fill the vast spaces in papers then with horizons to match.
When you dispatched all or most of your eight-strong Washington bureau, Statehouse reporters from Missouri and Illinois, a columnist, an editorial writer, and a photographer or two, and set aside most of Page One and two pages inside for jumps and eight or a dozen more convention stories, reporters had work to do.
Me? I didn’t have to worry about whether Ronald Reagan would pick Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, or Donald Duck for a running-mate. I was the Springfield, Illinois guy, tasked with shadowing Lincoln-Landers and gathering scraps for the Washington bureau, where I would land in a few years. (continued on New Page)