Investigative reporting nonprofit watches over Wisconsin

Andy Hall, co-founder and executive director of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, works at his home office in Madison, Wis. (Daisy Kershaw/MEDILL)

By Alex Perry and Daisy Kershaw
Medill Reports

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism — or Wisconsin Watch — is a nonprofit investigative news outlet that serves the Badger State. Wisconsin Watch was founded in 2009 by husband-and-wife duo Andy and Dee Hall, who built it on the core values of seeking truth, protecting the vulnerable and providing solutions.

One recent example of their work focused on a controversial curfew mandate in Milwaukee. After the city imposed the curfew in response to protests following the police killing of George Floyd, Wisconsin Watch journalists Jim Malewitz and Clara Neupert decided to dig deep to find out more about how Milwaukee was policing protests. A records request to obtain all the tickets issued during the curfew mandate revealed it was more than just an issue of First Amendment rights. It was also a racial justice issue.

As legacy news organizations face a steep decline in revenue, investigative reporting is often the first thing to go. In recent years, local nonprofit investigative outlets have stepped up to fill in the gaps and to serve as watchdogs for their communities. Wisconsin Watch is an example of a small news organization trying to lead the way for investigative reporting statewide.

Alex Perry is a graduate student at Medill specializing in Video & Broadcast reporting. You can find her on Twitter at @AlexPer22724257. Daisy Kershaw is a video and broadcast reporter at Medill.