So, I reside in Madison, Wis. Yes, the Madison, Wis. that is currently imploding. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, you know shit has hit the fan in Wisconsin’s capitol.
The overview: Governor Scott Walker released his proposed budget last Friday, Feb. 11, 2011. In the budget he proposes that public employees pay 5.8% for their pensions and 12% for health insurance. In addition, Walker wants to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees. In the last week, Madison schools have been closed three days because so many teachers called in sick. In addition schools around the state closed too. On Thursday, the Wisconsin Education Association called all members to picket at the Capitol on Friday. Therefore increasing the school closures on Friday compared to earlier in the week.
Falling on my journalism background, I’m going to do my best to avoid putting my politics here. Although if you follow me on Twitter, you might have an idea of where I stand. However, this post is less about my politics and more about the awesome reporting that is being done by WISC-TV.
WISC has a handful of young, passionate and hungry reporters. And it shows. I follow Jessica Arp, Andy Choi, Marc Lovicott and David Douglas on Twitter. All of these reporters are doing an amazing job providing real-time information on what’s happening at the Capitol. They are constantly posting updates, video, pictures and answering questions. They have taken reporting to a completely new level. If you didn’t believe in Twitter’s use in reporting/journalism, take a look at their Twitter accounts. You’ll change your mind quickly.
And on top of it, they are utilizing Facebook. I am a fan of WISC-3/Channel 3000 on Facebook so I see all the updates. And man are there updates. Despite recent stats that came out claiming most people will un-fan/un-friend due to too much posting, that has not happened with WISC. They are following their reporters in the field (named above) and posting video/news/pics on Facebook.
This event that’s happening in Madison right now is huge. No. It’s massive. No matter your perspective. It’s all over the national news: The New York Times, Time magazine, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, etc. Even Obama is getting involved with a recent statement.
As a journalist myself and someone who appreciates good reporting, I think this whole WISC thing is awesome on two levels. First, that WISC sees the value in these young journalists and gives them the freedom/respect to report. You don’t see the same from its competition. And you don’t often see that perspective from many companies in general. Two, it’s awesome because these young reporters are now getting the opportunity to be involved in a national historic event.
Jessica Arp, Andy Choi, Marc Lovicott and David Douglas deserve national and local recognition for their reporting. And I hope they get it.
Here is one example of a video of the Capitol protest posted by Jessica: