Media inquiries:
Meg Turville-Heitz
Wisconsin Humanities Council
[email protected]

What is the role of media in covering law enforcement? Whose story is being told? How can we trust what we’re being told? These are the kinds of questions that “Building Trust: Law Enforcement, the Media and You” will tackle in a kickoff community event May 9 at 7 p.m. at the Northcentral Technical College Auditorium, Health Science Center, 1000 W. Campus Drive, Wausau.

This kickoff will examine state and national media coverage of law enforcement issues with:

  • Sue Riseling – internationally recognized former UW-Madison police chief
  • Kathleen Culver – UW-Madison journalism ethics scholar
  • Mike Leary – editor of the San Antonio Express–News who earned a Pulitzer prize for his work with the Philadelphia Enquirer covering crime in the schools
  • Ben Bliven – Wausau chief of police
  • Scott Parks – Marathon County sheriff
  • Sarah Gray – WSAW news director
  • Glen Moberg – Wisconsin Public Radio distinguished broadcast specialist

More extended community discussions with local law enforcement, media and community members will follow in June, September, October and November – in Wausau, Eau Claire, Milwaukee and Superior – and will discuss:

  • What is news
  • Credibility of law enforcement and media
  • Impact of race on media coverage and policing
  • Role of journalism in a democracy
  • How to hold government accountable

To register for this free event, learn more about the full slate of speakers, sponsors and additional events around the state, go to

“All public life depends upon the public having sources of news that we can turn to for information that we trust,” said Dena Wortzel, executive director of the Wisconsin Humanities Council. “In Wisconsin today, newspapers are struggling financially. People are getting less local news, and to make matters worse, many people fear that the news that they do receive – whether from social media or traditional media sources – may not be trustworthy. We launched Beyond the Headlines so that the public can meet members of the media face-to-face, and talk with journalists who work every day to bring information to the public on issues that affect our lives right here in Wisconsin.”

Beyond the Headlines is a project of the Wisconsin Humanities Council, in partnership with Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service, and other local media, law enforcement and citizen representatives in Wausau. It is funded in part by a grant from the Mellon Foundation, in partnership with the Pulitzer Prizes.

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