Dear Editor: The Wisconsin Newspaper Association strongly supports the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism's work with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to provide essential experience for student journalists and shine the light on issues of importance to our citizens.
In its state budget proposal, the Wisconsin Legislature approved a measure to remove the center from its offices on the UW-Madison campus and prohibit university employees from cooperating or working with the center.
The nonpartisan center continues to emerge as a national model for watchdog journalism, and will persist regardless of a physical presence in the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communications. In addition, prohibiting university employees from cooperating or working with the center is a controlling and excessive.
It is alarming that the powerful Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin Legislature — at the end of a marathon final budget session — chose to directly attack the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Legislators must remove this policy item from the budget document. It doesn't belong in the budget and it is misdirected.
Wisconsin Newspaper Association president
Beloit Daily News publisher
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