Wisconsin Republicans want to kick investigative journalism center off UW campus

Categories: Legislature, Media

Nygren-Hall-500.jpg
Photos: Wisconsin Legislature, UW-Madison.
Rep. John Nygen (left) says the center can find housing elsewhere; Andy Hall, the nonprofit's executive director, says he was "blindsided" by the news.
Wisconsin Republicans want to boot a nonpartisan journalism watchdog organization off the UW-Madison campus.

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted Wednesday to include a budget provision that would remove the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism from its campus office space, according to the Associated Press. It will also bar UW employees from working for the organization.

"We were blindsided by the action," says Andy Hall, the center's executive director, in an interview with City Pages this morning.

The nonprofit currently operates out of a small office in UW's journalism school. The center is run by professionals and trains student journalists to become investigators, often partnering with other news organizations around the state and nation.

Part of the center's focus is on government integrity. Hall wasn't sure if the organization's legislative coverage played into lawmakers' effort to kick them off campus, but says "it's certainly possible."

"In the past, of course, some legislators and other public officials have been made uncomfortable by some of our reporting, but I don't specifically know what might have triggered this action," he says.

Republican Rep. John Nygren, chair of the Joint Committee on Finance, wasn't available for comment this morning, but told the AP that the state shouldn't be providing facilities for the watchdog organization.

The committee added the provision to the budget early Wednesday morning. The final budget will now got to a full floor vote in both chambers.

UPDATE [1:15 p.m.]

Gregory J. Downey, director of UW-Madison's journalism school, published a response on the college's website today publicly opposing the measure. Downey says the first provision -- to remove the watchdog organization from the school's office space -- appears to "arbitrarily" target the center, noting the office is mostly used by student interns.

"There are plenty of other arrangements where outside organizations use UW space for activities, if such uses are deemed to be in the interests of our research, teaching, and/or service mission," writes Downey. "This one was, and still is."

But more troubling, says Downey, is the provision to exclude UW employees from working at the center. He calls it a "direct assault on our academic freedom in research, teaching, and service -- and on the Wisconsin Idea."

Read Downey's full statement here.

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26 comments
Sallyjos
Sallyjos

Weird. Given the cover that the Center gave the frac sand mining industry (the intern covering mining took part in pro-mining panels), you'd think the WI Republicans would offer to build them a whole new wing using petroleum and gas money. Guess they pocketed all that in campaign contributions,

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

Learn a lesson Minnesota.  Republicans are crazy stupid fools who waste money and time doing nonsense.  The DFL controls all of Minnesota's government.  Do you see them doing nonsense like this?   Meanwhile when Scott Walker and the rest of the idiot Republicans gained control of Wisconsin the unemployment rate was 7.9% now its 7.1% seems good but its one of the slowest rates in the nation.   When Mark Dayton and the DFL was elected Minnesota's unemployment was 7.10% now its 5.30%.     Progressive policies like Mark Dayton and Barack Obama put in place grow the economy and wages.  Idiotic policies like Scott Walker and the Republicans put in place hold back the economy.   Bush was given a strong economy and he crashed it.   Obama was given a weak economy and he has shrank unemployment, lowered your taxes, and shrunk your healthcare costs.   Only an idiot (keny,Cin) will ignore facts, figures and still vote Republican.  If you want a strong economy, cheap healthcare and freedom you vote DFL.  If you want corrupt stupid bigots crashing your economy, picking on brown people and talking about how the Lion King makes your children gay vote for Republican idiots.  

Ben Schwelling
Ben Schwelling

but i wouldnt expect truth from the fox news of shitty little newspapers "city pages" they push their liberal agenda just like fox does a conservative

Eva Chavarria Hunter
Eva Chavarria Hunter

The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee are working against Free press "The First Amendment gives the press the right to publish news, information and opinions without government interference. This also means people have the right to publish their own newspapers, newsletters, magazines, etc."

Mary Ledingham
Mary Ledingham

North Dakota blows, and Wisconsin sucks. Glad I am a Minnesotan.

Ben Schwelling
Ben Schwelling

ya lie about what your doing to get a spot. thats the liberal obama bullshit thug way of politics with the democraps

_Joe_
_Joe_

Wait...

You mean that's not two pictures of the same guy?

Onan
Onan

"Wisconsin Republicans want to kick investigative journalism center off UW campus" - Of course they do.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@Benjamin Schwelling  What really makes you look smart is how you throw out an accusation like this and then don't bother to back it up with facts or nothing.   People should just trust sunglass wearing douche Benjamin Schwelling, politics and media expert.   What qualifies Ben to be an expert on this topic folks?   Well he is a sunglass wearing idiot who doesn't believe in proper sentence structure.   Seriously, don't post on a politics or news website until you have at least finished 3rd grade.  How many times did your ugly mom drop you on your head as a kid that you think your comment is the proper way to debate a news story?   Adults expect a statement like yours to be backed up with some sort of fact.   Please never share your stupid opinion again.  

andersdinero
andersdinero

@Benjamin Schwelling The irony of a known sex offender calling someone else a thug.

Onan
Onan

@Benjamin Schwelling What my WHAT is doing?? Seriously, learn some basic language skills or continue to be one of the many laughed at here.

_Joe_
_Joe_

@Onan Shoot out the lights.  Sweep the glass under the rug.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@kennyX @MicheleBachmann Chicago per captia income $51,046.   Detroit per captia income $49,160.     Just because you are a stupid coward and the TV tells you to be afraid of Chicago and Detroit doesn't mean they aren't great cities and cultural centers.  You are nothing but a stupid racist coward incapable of using facts to debate.  Everyone notes you have nothing to say about the actual facts I presented about job creation.  Just more stupid nonsense out of you.   Here is more facts for you.   Top 15 states by per captia income:  12 states voted for Obama 3 voted for Romney.   Bottom 15 states by income:  3 voted for Obama 12 voted Romney.   Bottom 5 states per captia income:  All 5 are red states.   See Republicans are people like you, stupid cowardly losers.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@kennyX You are a fucking nitwit who thinks a massive rich city like Chicago is some hell on Earth.  You are an idiot who is incapable of having any kind of discussion.   I repeat once again Chicago contributes more to GDP than every other single red state except Texas.   Texas has 26 million people, Chicago has 10 million   Despite way more people Texas barely beats Chicago.   Chicago has the same population as the entire state of Georgia.  Chicago produces more than $200 million more in GDP every year than the entire  state of Georgia which includes Atlanta.   Chicago is filled with smart liberals who drive the world economy.   If Chicago is so poorly run why does a red state like Georgia contribute such a pathetic amount to GDP compared to a crime ridden hellhole like Chicago?   Answer that question nitwit.  Why are none of the other "Alpha" cities run by conservatives stupid?   If conservatives are so good at making money and running cities how come no "Alpha" city is run by a conservative?   

kennyX
kennyX

@MicheleBachmann Yes, I do know what an Alpha city is. But your moronic logic does not take away the fact that it is the most violent Alpha city in the world. You would be safer in Mexico City than in Chicago. Are you stupid on purpose? Or is it just natural?

kennyX
kennyX

@MicheleBachmann I think I just heard the funniest joke in my entire lifetime: "Chicago. The Pinnacle of Civilization". That is too funny.

kennyX
kennyX

@MicheleBachmann You are so stupid it is not even funny. As usual, when Liberals are presented with facts (BTW, the facts I presented were not from right wing news sources, most of them were from Michigan and Illinois government websites as well as liberal Huff Post and MSNBC) all they can do is counter with "It's all Bush's fault!" and screams of "Racism!" and name calling. Unemployment rises when Republicans are in charge and falls when Democrats are in charge? Then can you explain to me how Detroit, which was once the powerhouse of the middle class and American economy has turned into a fucking 3rd worth shit hole ever since Democrats took charge back in 1962? And Chicago? Spare me with the "it attracts tourists from all over the world", while it may attract tourism, it also shows the tourists what a fucked up shit hole that city really is. They don't call it "ShitCago" for nothing. More people are LEAVING that city than those who are moving in. Hell, even the Mexicans are leaving that shit hole. That says A LOT. You are just a brainwashed tool. You prove it every time you post your nonsensical bullshit. You like Detroit and Chicago so much? Go move there. You obviously love diversity so much, they will welcome you. When you come back to Minnesota in a body bag, don't tell me I didn't warn you.

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@kennyX Chicago has the 4th highest GDP for a city in the world.  Chicago contributes more to GDP than every red state except for Texas.  It's a massive driver of not only America but the world.  Honestly how stupid are you?  Have you ever been to Chicago?  What do you think that poor criminals build massive skyscrapers?  It's a rich amazing city that attracts tourists from all over the world.  It's a pinnacle of human civilization. It's funny what a stupid pathetic bumpkin you are.    The funniest thing you cite is the rankings about it being an "Alpha" city.   Do you even know what that means you nitwit?   It means its "an important node in the world economy."   America has 4 "alpha" cities.  They are San Francisco, NYC, L.A., and Chicago.   Maybe the four most liberal parts of the United States.   Anyway a scum sucking weasel like you can't be debated with.  I make a point about how Republicans suck at being in charge because of unemployment rates and a stupid fuck like you responds with Chicago sucks.  Clinton got the economy roaring then Bush wrecked it and now Obama has fixed it.  Your dumb response is Detroit sucks.  Unemployment rises when Republicans are in charge and falls when a Democrat is in charge.  You don't have anything that refutes that so you say something stupid and off topic.  

kennyX
kennyX

@MicheleBachmann

Detroit

20 billion dollar debt; Only 46% of the population pays taxes; Most Dangerous City in America; Highest crime rate of any city in America; 18% unemployment; Named Most Miserable City in the U.S 2013.

Ohhhhhhhhh.....and let's talk about Chicago

13 billion dollar debt; Highest taxed city in America; Named 4th Most Miserable City in America 2013; Population is in decline (most moving due to COL and high taxes);  9% unemployment rate and 47% unemployment rate among minorities; Top 4 employers in the city are GOVERNMENT agencies NOT private enterprise; Located in a state with almost 200 BILLION dollars in debt and named the 48th worst run state in America;  #1 city in murders in 2012; Named #1 deadliest Alpha city.....IN THE WORLD; and the best part:

Most corrupt city Government in the entire U.S. (i.e. paying back political favors with lucrative government contracts among other things)

Yes, Detroit and Chicago should be role models for how the rest of the nation should operate.

You have proven yet again how poisoned your mind is. 

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