Wisconsin Examiner finalist for six Milwaukee Press Club Awards; Wins Open Records, Environmental Report Honors

The Wisconsin Examiner team placed in the top three in six categories for the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism Awards. The finalists were announced on Tuesday, and the first, second and third in each category will be announced on May 6 at the club’s Gridiron Awards event at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.

This year’s competition attracted more than 800 entries and was judged by professional journalists from news clubs across the United States.

Reviewer finalists include:

Gunn shed light on the debate over reopening schools and how it has resonated very differently with different socio-economic groups. While lawmakers and others who have called for a quick return to face-to-face instruction have focused on poor families and families of color, many of those same families have been reluctant to return, Gunn reported. Digging into survey data and interviewing experts, Gunn explored how social conditions amplified COVID-19 risks, forcing parents of color to take a more conservative approach to sending their children back to school, and how virtual learning was, even outside of the pandemic, a more attractive option than in-person classes for many of these children.

  • Best Online News Coverage: “How Kenosha Police Responded to Protests After Jacob Blake Shooting by Isiah Holmes and Henry Redman

Using open tapes, Holmes and Redman uncovered conversations between Kenosha police and U.S. Marshals about their use of the same tactics against Black Lives Matter protesters in Kenosha and Portland, the militarized approach of the local law enforcement and the friendly response of Kenosha officers to arms. militiamen who entered the city.

This entry included six separate stories: “Marshals saw Kenosha as a unique opportunity to get what we all know we need,” “US Marshals came straight from Portland to Kenosha during the Troubles,” “Was Alvin Cole’s firing decision delayed by Kenosha unrest,” “The Kenosha Law Enforcement Thin Blue Line Challenge Coins,” “Kenosha officers described armed civilians as very friendly,” and “How Kenosha PD and the FBI received the list of Wisconsin BLM protesters

Redman reported on a special production of the Nutcracker at the Fort McCoy military base for Afghan refugees who arrived there after US troops withdrew from their country. On December 10 and 11, dancers from Madison Ballet gave lessons to children and performed the second act of the famous holiday spectacle on a makeshift stage in front of hundreds of noisy people. One dancer told Redman “she feels like they were “quenching a thirst” by allowing kids to be kids. “Every student expressed joy all the time, and I’ve never seen that,” she added.

Conniff told the story of the connection between Lac Courte Oreilles College in northern Wisconsin and a charter school the college helped start in Oconomowoc, across the state, part of a receiving network curriculum, teacher training, and mentorship at Hillsdale College, a small Christian college in Michigan with strong ties to the Trump Administration. The “patriotic education” model employed by the school minimizes genocide and slavery, making it a surprising partner for a Native American educational institution. Conniff discovered how “Educational sovereignty,” the key concept that brought together the tribe and members of the influential right-wing Christian movement for school choice, has profound implications for the future of public schools in Wisconsin.

  • Best Public Service Story or Series: “Police Surveillance” by Isiah Holmes

Holmes took an in-depth look at the technology and evolution of police surveillance theory and what it means for Wisconsin citizens who may unwittingly share information with law enforcement. Submissions for this award included three stories:Concerns over proposed wiretapping bill,” “Wiretap experts fear bill could open backdoor for police,” and “How to Use Fusion Centers During Protests.”

  • Best Explainer Story or Series: “Where Have All the Workers Gone?” by Erik Gunn

Gunn covers the much-discussed labor shortage in Wisconsin, interviewing economists and ordinary workers to shed light on a complex issue and the obstacles to work that affect individual families with repercussions for the entire world. ‘economy. This submission included three stories:As the pandemic subsides, labor shortages increase,” “Wages, childcare and more: Why the job market isn’t growing” and “Matching workers to the right jobs.”

Additionally, Isiah Holmes won the Media Openness Award from the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. The Council, a nonpartisan group that seeks to promote open government, consists of about two dozen members representing the media and other public interests. Sponsoring organizations include the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and the Madison Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The Openness Awards, announced Thursday ahead of nationwide “Sunshine Week” March 13-19, will be presented at the Wisconsin Watchdog Awards Reception and Dinner on Thursday, April 21, at the Madison Club in Madison.

Holmes and the examiner “made prodigious use of the State‘s Open Archives Act to uncover often shocking information about the Wauwatosa Police Department,” the award announcement states, “which considered the mayor of Wauwatosa, Dennis McBride, as a “target” and maintained a watch list of protesters and that Holmes himself was on to cover the protests as a reporter. Exposing such abuse serves the highest purpose of our law on open files.

Stories in this award category include: “Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride named as target by police,” “Wauwatosa PD created list of protesters during crackdown on peaceful protests,” “Why Wauwatosa PD Wanted Alvin Cole’s Sister’s Phone,” “Internal investigation into high-value Wauwatosa PD target,” “I covered the protests in Wauwatosa so the police put me on a list shared with the FBI,” “Police target list of protesters shared among law enforcement.”

Holmes was also honored at a Jan. 17 awards ceremony by the Sierra Club’s Great Waters Group for his reporting on environmental and social justice.

“Holmes, videographer and journalist, receives the Environmental Hero of the Year award for his work on issues that affect our communities. His articles and reports cover a wide range of environmental and social justice issues as well as threats to our rights fundamental democrats.

The Great Waters Group is the four county (Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha Counties) affiliate of the Sierra Club, America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.

Get morning headlines delivered to your inbox

Comments are closed.