January 13, 2011

CJR profiles student reporters’ crucial role at WisconsinWatch.org

The outstanding work of WisconsinWatch.org’s paid student interns is highlighted in a new report from Columbia Journalism Review, a widely watched industry publication.

“In just under two years, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has broken over twenty-five major stories, ranging from the increased dependence on immigrant labor in the dairy industry to the stories behind the alarmingly high Native American suicide rates,” says the CJR report.

It adds that the Center’s reporting interns, students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication,  ”come up with some of the Center’s best ideas.”

“The Wisconsin Center’s recent story on the very high rate of Native American suicides was an idea from Allie Tempus, a student who got her idea from her peer, Sara Jerving, who had produced a report earlier in the year about suicide rates in Wisconsin.

“Another recent story, about the increased abuse of the prescription stimulant Adderall on college campuses, was born out of one of the school’s reporting classes.”

The CJR profile of the Center is part of a recently launched feature, the News Frontier Database, which is offering reports and basic, searchable data, regarding “50 prominent digital news sites.”