The following statement is from the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism Board of Directors:
The Wisconsin State Legislature Joint Finance Committee’s precipitant vote taken shortly after dawn on June 5 to expel the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from the University of Wisconsin and bar university employees from working with the organization is an attack on freedom of the press, a cornerstone of our democracy. The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism (IowaWatch) condemns this vote and urges the legislature to remove this provision from its budget.
The Wisconsin Center is a nonprofit entity whose operating budget is supported by private foundations, individuals and news organizations and exists solely to serve the people of Wisconsin. As a fellow nonprofit organization that serves the public interest of our own home state through investigative journalism, IowaWatch stands firmly in solidarity with the Wisconsin Center.
The Wisconsin Center has provided vital training to UW-Madison journalists. It provides in-depth, explanatory, investigative journalism for free to news outlets across the state. The actions ofthe Joint Finance Committee are reprehensible and are in direct conflict with Wisconsin citizens’ need for a vigorous and varied investigative journalistic community.
By a unanimous decision of its voting members on June 7, 2013, the board of directors of The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, a champion of vibrant democracy and a free and unfettered press, lends its full support to the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and to people of Wisconsin. The board calls upon the Wisconsin State Legislature to remove this provision from its budget.
The voting members included: Stephen J. Berry, Jason Brummond, Erin Jordan, David Schwartz, Mary Ungs-Sogaard and Corinna Zarek. Board member Judy Polumbaum endorsed the action via email. Board member Andy Hall abstained from voting on the board’s endorsement, because he is the executive director of the Wisconsin Center.
June 7, 2013