June 5, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mark Pitsch, 608-252-6145
MADISON – The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is an important part of the media landscape in Wisconsin. Its criminal justice, environmental, political and other reporting has garnered national and statewide attention – including by the Wisconsin Legislature – and its work is made available for free on the center’s website and to media outlets statewide.
The center’s work with UW-Madison has been an effective collaboration that has allowed young journalists to obtain vital training. It offers the public a look at the changing journalism present and the kind of journalism operations that will exist in the future.
The center is nonpartisan, and its work seeks to hold government officials accountable for decisions that affect all Wisconsinites. The state is richer for its presence.
The Madison pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists supports the work of the center. Further, it is a partner with the center on the annual Watchdog Awards; our organization’s vice president is a center employee.
Journalists across the country are increasingly subject to scrutiny and retaliation by political leaders of both parties. We don’t understand why the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is requiring the center to leave UW-Madison, and we wish lawmakers had subjected this proposal to public debate. We believe the center will thrive, with or without a physical presence in the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communications.