A Wisconsin court of appeals has finally put to rest some of the questions over what information must be withheld under the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, or DPPA. Its recent decision ends years of confusion in a way that squares with the state’s traditions of openness — and with common sense.
Two years ago, the Fond du Lac School District unveiled new guidelines requiring administrative review and approval before the publication of any student media. The reaction by students was swift, democratic and effective. Within days, they had publicized the change online, presented their case at a school board meeting, appeared on local media, and gathered several thousand signatures on a petition calling for student publications to be returned to the students. Over the next several months, they highlighted the district’s use of these guidelines to block the publication of particular photos and information. These efforts succeeded.
Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of open government and the people’s right to know, got an unexpected and welcome beam of hope in mid-March when Gov. Scott Walker issued an executive order directing state agencies to speed up responses to public records requests and to track them to show their performance.
Coburn Dukehart, an award-winning multimedia editor and producer with 16 years of experience at national news organizations, has joined the staff of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism as digital and multimedia director.
Sometimes, when author Tom Warren researches issues for his books, he feels the pull to become an advocate. And that helps explain why, for the past two years, Warren has mailed a check to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
In 2015, Wisconsin advocates for open government faced a disquieting truth: If we want to preserve our state’s tradition of transparency and accountability, we must fight for it, against powerful players who will be fighting back.
The types of news stories Sharon Dunwoody finds most compelling — and most crucial in 2015 — dig deeper than “he-said-she-said” truth claims; they use data to analyze and corroborate or refute sources’ claims on important issues.
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.