November 23, 2015

Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award nominations sought from the public

Nominations are being sought for the sixth annual Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award, recognizing an individual’s extraordinary contributions to open government or investigative journalism in Wisconsin.

Dave Zweifel, editor emeritus of The Capital Times and a founder of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, was named the inaugural winner in 2011. The late Dick Wheeler, founder of the Wheeler Report and a tireless advocate for public access to the workings of state government, was honored in 2012. In 2013, U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman, the chief author of Wisconsin’s Open Records Law and a strong advocate of the Open Meetings Law, received the award. The 2014 recipient was Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigative reporter Dave Umhoefer. Earlier this year, Journal Sentinel investigative health reporter Meg Kissinger received the honor for tirelessly exposing flaws in the mental health system.

The award is presented jointly by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council and the Madison Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Letters of nomination are accepted from journalists, news organizations and other individuals and organizations involved in open government and investigative journalism issues.

They should be sent by Dec. 15 to Andy Hall, the Center’s executive director, at ahall@wisconsinwatch.org or WCIJ, 5006 Vilas Communication Hall, 821 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706.

The recipient will be selected by a panel of representatives from the Center, FOIC and SPJ, and will be honored at the Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner, scheduled for April 20 at The Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St.