Press Release: News Release February 2003: Appleton, Janesville reporters receive Golden Gavel Awards:

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    News Release February 2003: Appleton, Janesville reporters receive Golden Gavel Awards

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    For Immediate Release
      CONTACT: Jason Westphal
    State Bar of Wisconsin
    (800) 444-9404, ext. 6077
    org jwestphal wisbar wisbar jwestphal org

    Appleton, Janesville reporters receive Golden Gavel Awards

    MADISON, February 5, 2003 - The State Bar of Wisconsin would like to congratulate Dan Wilson of The Post-Crescent (Appleton) and Sid Schwartz of The Janesville Gazette for winning 2002 Golden Gavel Awards.

    The Wisconsin Gavel Awards competition was established in 1985 as an annual event to recognize outstanding public service messages by newspapers, television/radio stations and other media outlets. Atty. Kelly Centofanti, chair of the Bar's Media-Law Relations Committee, will honor the winning journalists during a noon luncheon on February 7 at the Marriott West in Madison. The awards presentation is being held in conjunction with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association's Annual Convention.

    Wilson was selected by the judging panel for his column entitled "Inmate Calls Shackle Families." A review by The Post-Crescent discovered that Outagamie and other county jails in northeastern Wisconsin, as well as the state prison system, sign exclusive agreements with vendors to provide inmate phone service. This piece describes how high priced phone service hampers an inmate's ability to secure legal counsel and maintain contact with family members.

    Schwartz's winning entry, "Jury Trials Dropping Steadily," analyzed 95 criminal jury trials in Rock County between 1998 and 2001. This series of articles not only indicated that the number of trials consistently decreased over that period of time, but revealed that cases handled by staff attorneys in the public defender's office were significantly less likely to end in a trial than those handled by private attorneys appointed by the public defender's office.

    All entries in the broadcast category (television, radio and internet) must be received by March 3. Winners will be honored during the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association's Summer Conference in June.