We thank Gov. Scott Walker for deleting this ill-conceived measure from the budget.
The effort by an unnamed lawmaker or lawmakers to end the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism’s award-winning relationship with the University of Wisconsin, however, tells us that our reporting is making a difference.
Some in power are unhappy with our nonpartisan efforts, which aim to protect the vulnerable, expose wrongdoing and seek solutions.
Their actions tell us we are doing something right and need to do more of it.
We are more determined than ever to dig into important issues facing our state while training the next generation of investigative journalists.
We have been overwhelmed by the support — across the entire ideological spectrum — that has poured in from across Wisconsin and the nation for our collaboration with the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Many have asked how they can help.
Today we’re announcing the creation of the WCIJ Education Fund, to support our internship program in which students pursue investigative stories important to the people of Wisconsin. It costs about $25,000 to fully support an internship for one year.
That translates to 100 contributions of $250 apiece. Support in any amount is appreciated.
While we celebrate the governor’s veto, we’re mindful of the misinformation that gave rise to the Legislature’s attempt to evict the Center from the journalism school and prohibit university employees from working with the Center.
These are the facts:
1. The Center’s award-winning operations are self-supporting through privately raised funds from foundations, individuals and corporations.
2. Funders have no voice in the Center’s news coverage decisions. The Center, as a matter of policy, identifies all of its sources of financial support to protect the integrity of its journalism. It strives to increase the diversity of its revenue sources.
3. The Center’s relationship with the journalism school, formalized in a facilities use agreement, uses no direct taxpayer support and provides the journalism school and its students with significant benefits. This year, for example, the Center is paying its interns $40,000 and is providing well in excess of $75,000 in support of its educational mission, including travel, research and data expenses of interns, and supervision, editing, legal services, publication and distribution of their work.
We invite the public to read our stories — more than 100 have been published over the past four years — at wisconsinwatch.org.
We need you, now more than ever, to help strengthen the Center’s journalism and training of investigative journalists who will keep an eye on the people in power — today and for years to come!
— Andy Hall, executive director, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism
This is great news, but I expected it was a ploy created to make Walker look like a hero. It was so far out there and so out of whack that it sure seems to have been put in there (having no author to blame) with the main goal of allowing Walker to veto it and look good.