Happy Birthday Wisconsin Examiner! – Wisconsin Examiner

Happy Birthday Wisconsin Examiner! – Wisconsin Examiner

Four years ago, in July 2019, we launched the Wisconsin Examiner with a mission to provide you, our readers, with a fresh perspective on state politics and policy through investigative reporting and daily news coverage both inside and outside the Capitol.

We were the eleventh outlet launched by States Newsroom, the national nonprofit news organization that is working to fill the gap in state capital reporting as other news outlets shrink. Today, there are States Newsroom outlets in 35 states, and this year States Newsroom was selected as the new home for Pew’s Stateline, the nonprofit news service that reports and analyzes trends in state policy.

We started out as Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Legislature were wrapping up their first state budget together. This week, as we conclude our coverage of the third budget Evers and state lawmakers have hashed out, we are going deeper than ever as we continue to grow.

Baylor Spears, Wisconsin Examiner | Photo by Greg Anderson
Baylor Spears

Our new full-time legislative reporter, Baylor Spears, who joined us in October, has quickly become a fixture in the Capitol, tracking legislative debates, cultivating inside sources and bringing you important news coverage and analysis of abortion, health care, education and other critical and contentious topics — as well as occasional flashes of bipartisanship under the dome.

Going beyond politics, Spears covers the real world effects of policies, including a sensitive report on mental health, in which she interviewed two Wisconsin mothers of struggling teeangers trying to navigate the state’s patchwork of mental health supports. 

Spears and reporter Henry Redman also recently teamed up to launch an Examiner TikTok — check out their posts on Evers’ partial vetoes of the budget and the Milwaukee Common Council vote to raise a sales tax that will help the city avert financial disaster.

Redman has been doing ground-breaking work for the Examiner on critical environmental issues. His series on the Madison Sewer District’s decision to shut off the flow of water to Badger Mill Creek alerted citizens to this significant change in local waterways. Likewise, his reporting on manure spills runoff from giant factory farms has been a crucial source of information for people directly affected. 

Redman has also done important reporting on the courts and the twists and turns of elections administration for the Examiner. He won top honors from the Milwaukee Press Club this year, competing against online as well as print publications and garnering the Gold Award for Short Hard Feature writing with his story, “How to steal an election in 20 nearly impossible and hard to hide steps.” 

Henry Redman discusses the Wisconsin Supreme Court race on CBS News | Screenshot
Henry Redman discusses the Wisconsin Supreme Court race on CBS News | Screenshot

He also covered the much-watched Wisconsin Supreme Court race, and appeared on CBS News on Election Night to discuss the results and the significance of the outcome on the national evening broadcast.

We were especially proud this year that the Examiner won the Gold Award for Best Online Coverage of News overall in the state from the Milwaukee Press Club (for stories published during  the 2022 calendar year), with a submission that included stories by reporters Isiah Holmes and Redman and Deputy Editor Erik Gunn. Stories in the winning group covered political pressure directed at a school district, residents’ fight for clean water, how abortion restrictions can endanger women’s health, lax enforcement of Wisconsin’s timber management rules, police cell phone surveillance and how a U.S. Senator benefited from government aid while voting against federal safety net programs.

'Milked' by Ruth Conniff | cover art from The New Press

I was also gratified to receive the Gold Award for Best Online column with a submission that included columns on midwives preparing to protect abortion rights, the hypocrisy underlying Republican stances on immigration and navigating toxic partisanship — an entry that drew on my book “Milked” about the relationship between Wisconsin dairy farmers and their undocumented Mexican workers, published by The New Press last July. 

As child care became a big news story this year, with pandemic relief funds serving as a lifeline to providers, parents and employers, Gunn wrote a series of articles taking a close look at the high costs of child care, its importance to families and the state economy, and the possible consequences of government support drying up. 

Gunn also covered political battles over unemployment and professional licensing  and he brought a deeper perspective to the issue, examining long-term employment trends in Wisconsin and their connection to Act 10 and the decline of unions. 

Erik Gunn
Erik Gunn

A veteran labor reporter, Gunn brings his skills covering labor to resurgent organizing at private employers around the state, as well as the ongoing battle to seek union recognition by UW nurses

And he has brought his reporting and feature writing skills to social issues, including the attacks on diversity, equity and inclusion programs and faith leaders’ support for LGBTQ rights.

The greatest recognition of the year went to Isiah Holmes, who was one of only three reporters nationwide chosen for the prestigious Ida B. Wells Fellowship. The fellowship was created in 2016 to promote diversity in journalism and help create a pipeline of investigative reporters from underrepresented backgrounds. Holmes will be using the fellowship’s resources and mentoring from the editors at Type Investigations to advance his award-winning work on police surveillance. 

Isiah Holmes, Wisconsin Examiner | Photo by Greg Anderson
Isiah Holmes, Wisconsin Examiner | Photo by Greg Anderson

Regular readers of the Examiner know Holmes’ work on surveillance and over-policing is unparalleled in the state. He was recognized for work in two categories by the Milwaukee Press Club. He won the Bronze Award for Investigative Reporting Online for his story “Complaints mount over conduct of Whitewater PD,” uncovering reports of racial profiling and excessive force complaints in the record of a suspended police chief.

He also earned the Bronze Award in the online Explanatory Story or Series category for his examination of political attacks on the state’s parole system and bail practices throughout the 2022 election cycle.

As we begin our fifth year of digging up the truth in the Badger State, I hope you will continue to read us, send us tips, donate to help keep us going and stay in touch. You are the reason we do what we do, and we appreciate all your support.



Source link

Scroll to Top