Location: Madison, Wis.
About the News Organization: The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism an award-winning investigative news outlet based in Madison, Wisconsin. The mission of the WCIJ is to increase the quality, quantity and understanding of investigative journalism to foster an informed citizenry and strengthen democracy. The organization collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, commercial media and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, training students in classroom settings. Collaborative partners have included ProPublica, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Center for Public Integrity, Reveal, USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin, Madison Magazine, HuffPost and other outlets.
About the Position: This Report for America corps member will cover criminal justice, in particular the issues revolving around prosecutorial misconduct and unethical conduct in Wisconsin. The first major project will be a podcast and multimedia exploration of the myriad obstacles facing defendants when the prosecution is tainted by misconduct — and how that system could be improved. We envision the podcast being a “must-listen” storytelling series, in the style of In the Dark by APM Reports. Interwoven in the story will be the case of Kenneth Hudson, convicted in the 2000 stabbing death of a 19-year-old woman jogging in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. Hudson has always maintained his innocence, saying he came upon the grievously wounded victim, and that police and prosecutors framed him. While WCIJ makes no claim of Hudson’s guilt or innocence, we do know the case contains classic elements of a potential wrongful conviction: police and prosecutors who lied, withheld and potentially altered evidence. The criminal justice reporter will be supervised by Managing Editor Dee J. Hall, who has long covered prosecutorial misconduct and maintains a wide network of potential sources in this area.
Preferred Skills: Interest in criminal justice reporting, experience in gathering broadcast-quality sound and audio editing. Experience producing a podcast would be a plus.