The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s Dee J. Hall received an award for reporting from her former employer, Lee Enterprises, on Thursday. The Lee President’s Award, the company’s highest journalistic honor, recognized Hall and Wisconsin State Journal Reporter Matthew DeFour for their investigation into a failed taxpayer-funded loan to one of Gov. Scott Walker’s top donors. The award, which was shared with State Journal Assistant City Editor Mark Pitsch, recognizes the “outstanding achievement in any aspect of print and online journalism, from reporting and writing to photography, video, graphics and presentation” in the past year among Lee’s 50 daily newspapers. The investigation involved Building Committee Inc. of Milwaukee whose owner, William Minahan, had given Walker $10,000 on Election Day in 2010. The investigation by Hall and DeFour found one of Walker’s top aides, Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, had pushed for a $4.3 million loan to the company, which was on the verge of collapse.
The Center for Public Integrity’s State Integrity Investigation report, which provides state-by-state data on laws and practices that deter corruption and promote accountability and transparency, will launch Nov. 9.
Bridgit Bowden, a multimedia reporter at Kansas City Public Television, has been named the first recipient of an investigative reporting fellowship that memorializes the work of Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Mike Simonson, WPR and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism announced today. During the one-year fellowship, Bowden will work collaboratively with WPR and WCIJ to deepen her skills in investigative journalism, editing and on-air radio production. “I am so honored to be chosen as the Mike Simonson Fellow. During this fellowship I hope to share my passion for radio storytelling and hone my reporting and production skills. I’m very excited for the mentoring I’ll receive from WPR and WCIJ,” Bowden said.
Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin’s 5.8 million residents are at risk of consuming drinking water tainted with substances including lead, nitrate, disease-causing bacteria and viruses, naturally occurring heavy metals and other contaminants, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has found.
The award-winning Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is seeking applicants for three paid summer 2016 internships. Two interns will report on investigative stories. The third intern will serve as a public engagement and marketing assistant.
On July 9, the members of the Wisconsin state Assembly collectively affirmed their support for open government. They passed a resolution stating that the Assembly “remains committed to our state’s open record and open government laws and policies, and will take all necessary steps to ensure that these laws and policies are preserved without modification or degradation.” They vowed to “continue to work to uphold these principles and protections.”
In its first 15 months of existence, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. awarded $126 million in incentives to 24 companies without a full financial review. Some deals turned out well, others have failed. The largest — up to $62.5 million in tax credits to Kohl’s Corp. — so far has not generated the number of jobs or amount of capital spending promised.