This blanket exemption would spare the UW from needing a good reason to deny access to these records, as current law requires. Instead, universities could categorically spurn inquiries from citizens, media and even lawmakers looking into controversial research, potential threats to public safety, conflicts of interest or how tax dollars are spent.
In 2012, a federal appeals court ruled that the village of Palatine, Illinois, may have violated the act by leaving parking tickets, which included personal information, on the windshields of motorists. Some Wisconsin police departments, instructed by their insurers, began redacting personal information from police reports. No other state — not even Illinois, where the Palatine case occurred — adopted this interpretation.
The Center alleges that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections failed to respond to two records requests regarding the Center’s ongoing investigation into inmate treatment and discipline. Continue Reading
It’s a pretty simple question for a public official: “What exactly do you do with your time?”
Sometimes, the best way to answer that question is to obtain the official’s calendar, through the state’s open records law. In my work as a reporter, I’ve done this for the state treasurer and his staff, who work for an office with few official duties. I’ve also used the monthly calendars of Gov. Scott Walker to plot his travel and track his day-to-day meetings. So when I wanted a better understanding of how the duties of Sheboygan Mayor Mike Vandersteen and Chief Administrative Officer Jim Amodeo overlap, I asked to see their calendars. Amodeo’s response was simply, “Oh, OK.”
Vandersteen’s response was more terse. Continue Reading
HIPAA remains a “prickly” obstacle for journalists. As one health reporter puts it, “Often times, people are unsure about the law and can’t be bothered to check so it’s easier to say ‘no’ and refer to HIPAA.” Continue Reading
The award-winning Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is seeking applicants for three paid internships for summer 2015. Continue Reading
Whether the workers are line workers or top management, the same rules should apply. And even minor work rule violations can have a serious impact on morale, especially if there is a pattern of abuse. Continue Reading
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting has discovered that thousands of people are receiving non-FDA approved tests for Lyme disease, which may be giving unreliable results. The report includes a graphic showing the spread of Lyme disease over time — including to Wisconsin, which is one of the hotspots for the tick-borne disease. One of the testing companies is in Osceola, Wisconsin. Continue Reading
Lukas Keapproth, our globe-trotting former intern, was in Accra, Ghana Monday, where he watched the U.S.-Ghana World Cup soccer match with Ghanaian fans. He reported they were gracious after the U.S. beat Ghana 2-1 in the first-round match. See Lukas’ photos and video here.
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism received eight awards in the Milwaukee Press Club’s annual Awards for Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism, which were announced today. The Center now has won 25 awards from the press club, receiving eight in 2013, four in 2012 and five in 2011.
For 2013-14, the Council is bestowing six Opees to individuals and groups. Five of the awards are positive; the No Friend of Openness Award is not. Continue Reading
Nominations are being sought for the 2014 Distinguished WisconsinWatch.orgdog Award, presented annually to recognize an individual’s extraordinary contributions to open government or investigative journalism in Wisconsin. Continue Reading