Note to readers regarding openness at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Last week the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Center Investigative Journalism approved three policies — all of which are now posted on our website — providing insights into our standards for use of unnamed sources in news stories, how we approach the issue of diversity in our news coverage and operations, and how we handle personal information we receive from users of our website.

Free ‘Watchdog 101’ investigative reporting workshop is geared to students and working journalists; signup deadline is Wednesday

For the third consecutive year, high school, college and professional journalists are invited to a special investigative reporting workshop being offered as part of the annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards event. “Watchdog 101 Workshop: Essential Skills for Investigative Journalists,” a free, fast-paced workshop, will be led by staff and board members of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism — Brant Houston, Ralph A. Weber, Dee J. Hall, Andy Hall and Coburn Dukehart. This year’s workshop will be geared to a wide range of journalists, from students to experienced reporters and editors. The workshop will include sessions on how to use the state’s open records law, the art of the interview, how to use multimedia in investigative journalism and backgrounding individuals and companies. See the full schedule below. The workshop will be held from 2:30 to 4:45 p.m. this Thursday, April 19, immediately before the eighth annual Wisconsin Watchdog Awards reception and dinner at The Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St.

Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council names ‘Opee’ winners

Gov. Scott Walker, several journalists and a courageous private-sector employee are among those honored by the 2017-18 Openness Awards, or Opees, bestowed annually by the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. The state Legislature, meanwhile, is being singled out for negative recognition. The awards, which are being announced today in advance of national Sunshine Week, March 11-17, recognize extraordinary achievement in the arena of open government. This is the 12th consecutive year that awards have been given. “For more than a decade, the Opees have served to remind state residents that open government is a perpetual struggle, with heroes and villains,” said Bill Lueders, council president.