Wisconsin Public Television digs beyond campaign slogans and challenges voters to become investigative reporters

Adam Schrager of Wisconsin Public Television, part of UW-Extension's public broadcasting division, asked voters "What's on your mind, Wisconsin?" and presented political campaign Fact Check workshops.

Elections filled the headlines and airwaves in 2012. Wisconsin Public Television, part of the University of Wisconsin-Extension public broadcasting division, went beyond the campaign slogans and advertising to find the issues affecting Wisconsin residents.

Reporter Adam Schrager visited cities, towns and villages throughout the state to ask residents, “What’s on your mind, Wisconsin?”

 “I’m thinking about unemployment.”

 “I think the health care debate is still on my mind.”

 “The most important in my life right now and first and foremost – jobs.”

 “Education issues.”

 “I think the big thing that’s on my mind because I’m just recently graduated from college is the jobs that are available right now.”

The answers, ranging from the economy to agriculture, education to national security, inspired in-depth reporting on the ssues from WPT’s news and public affairs team and were posed directly to candidates in a series of debates in gubernatorial and senate races.

Along the way, Adam challenged voters to become investigative reporters in their own homes. In more than a dozen Fact Check 101 presentations in libraries across Wisconsin, community members learned how to uncover the truth and mistruths behind campaign advertising and candidate claims. The materials were also made available online and on-air in a special broadcast of WPT’s University Place series, expanding the reach of the important public service to every person in Wisconsin.

Watch the broadcast here.

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