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SPJ Madison update: Business reporting, Watchdog Awards and more

It’s been a busy six weeks for the Madison professional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Here’s an update:

April 26: Business journalist Michael Arndt provided a training session for 15 area journalists — including three from Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids — on reading financial documents. Arndt, managing editor of Crain’s Chicago Business and a 1979 UW-Madison graduate, directed reporters and editors to SECfilings.com for free alerts on when companies make filings with the federal regulatory agency. He urged journalist to scour 10Q and 10K financial reports along with proxy statements to discover information on revenues, earnings, and executive compensation. Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, yahoo.com and BusinessWeek.com also offer valuable information on corporations, though Bloomberg is expensive.

April 20: SPJ co-sponsored the inaugural Wisconsin Watchdog Awards, organized by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Dave Zweifel, editor emeritus of The Capital Times, received the first award for his role in helping found the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. The evening also featured announcement of the council’s Openness Awards honoring public information and a keynote address by Pulitzer Prize winner Lowell Bergman.

April 13: New Dane County Executive Joe Parisi met with SPJ members and others to discuss his agenda.

April 8-9: SPJ Madison Vice President Joe Radske attended the SPJ Region 6 conference in Bloomington, MN.

March 16: At SPJ Madison’s request, Gov. Scott Walker, then-Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and then-Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk issued proclamations honoring government openness and transparency. SPJ Madison President Mark Pitsch delivered a cake to the Capitol press room to celebrate the work of journalists and honor the birthday of James Madison, dubbed Father of the Constitution, during Sunshine Week. An op-ed by Pitsch in honor Madison and Sunshine Week was published in newspapers around the state. Read it at: http://bit.ly/fSpv97. Also see the WKOW report on Sunshine Week at: http://managewkow.worldnow.com/global/story.asp?s=14270497.

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