Election integrity efforts by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Center for Journalism Ethics at UW–Madison receive funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies

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With $83,000 in funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are joining forces to help support election integrity and counteract efforts that could strip citizens of their power in the swing state of Wisconsin.

The two organizations will focus on the upcoming 2020 election as they work together to develop citizen and journalist resource kits on election integrity, conduct timely investigative reporting on voting issues in Wisconsin and disseminate these resources to the broadest audience possible, including news organizations throughout the state.

“This fall’s election has the potential to be a fraught moment for election integrity,” says Andy Hall, executive director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. “What’s exciting about this project is that it allows us to focus directly on democratic participation and on uncovering any and all efforts to undermine that participation.”

Center for Journalism Ethics Director Kathleen Bartzen Culver says the partnership between the two organizations is a natural one. “Ethical practice is at the heart of journalism aimed at supporting and strengthening democracy,” Culver says. “Working together, we believe we can provide best journalistic practices in an election that promises to be difficult to cover.”

The lead reporter on the project will be Howard Hardee, who already focuses on disinformation as a fellow for First Draft News, a nonprofit organization that seeks to fight mis- and disinformation online. The funding also enables the centers to hire a student to work on public engagement. 

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit center focused on increasing the quality and quantity of investigative reporting in Wisconsin, while training current and future investigative journalists. Its work fosters an informed citizenry and strengthens democracy. 

The Center for Journalism Ethics, housed in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the UW-Madison, provides an international hub for the examination of the role of professional and personal ethics in the pursuit of fair, accurate and principled journalism. The Center offers resources for journalists, educators, students and the public, including internationally recognized annual conferences exploring key issues in journalism.

Craig Newmark Philanthropies supports groups that seek to defend values such as fairness, opportunity and respect and strengthen American democracy. The organization drives broad civic engagement by working to advance organizations focused on trustworthy journalism and the information ecosystem, voter protection, women in tech, and veterans and military families. 

For more information, contact Howard Hardee, election integrity reporter at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, at hhardee@wisconsinwatchmediapartners.wpcomstaging.com.

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