News, Sports & Public Affairs

Meet the MacArthur Winners – on WPT and WPR

As we learned the names of the new MacArthur Fellows yesterday – winners of the so-called “genius grants” – we celebrate members of the class of 2016 with Wisconsin roots and those whose work has appeared on WPT.

Some names (like last year’s winner Lin-Manuel Miranda) may seem more familiar than others, but all offer fascinating things to think about – which makes them perfect for WPT and WPR. It’s no surprise, then, that you may have seen or heard them on the air.

Continue reading Meet the MacArthur Winners – on WPT and WPR

Q&A: Behind the Scenes in the New Season of “Wisconsin Life”

Since the Wisconsin Life project began more than four years ago, producer/reporter Joel Waldinger has been just one of the producers who has worked with WPT videographers to spotlight people and their passions all around the state.

wl-logoAs we get ready for Wisconsin Life’s Season 4 broadcast premiere on Thursday, Sept. 22, check out our Q&A to find out how he and his colleagues search high and low – sometimes literally – for great stories.

Watch Wisconsin Life on WPT 7 p.m. this Thursday, or online now.
Continue reading Q&A: Behind the Scenes in the New Season of “Wisconsin Life”

Premiere: “Veterans Coming Home”

This post was written by guest contributor and deputy director for “Veterans Coming Home,” Cristina Hanson.

Today I’m excited for the launch of the first episode of Veterans Coming Home, an innovative digital-first series exploring the military–civilian divide from various perspectives of both veterans and civilians across the country.

This is a collaboration between Wisconsin Public Television and our national producing partners, Kindling Group, to produce digital shorts and a 10-part series in partnership with PBS Stories of Service. Veterans Coming Home aims to help veterans and communities understand the opportunities and challenges faced during the transition to civilian life and bridge the military-civilian divide. Veterans Coming Home is made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), with additional funding from Got Your Six.

The series explores themes common to veterans reintegrating to civilian life, including how veterans continue to seek the close bonds of a military unit after transitioning, the value of sharing and expressing their stories through art and comedy, and the notion of public and community service in civilian life. We’ve already previewed some stories from Wisconsinites:

In De Pere, Susan and Isaiah shared their experiences in healing and caring for one another more than a decade after Isaiah was injured by an improvised explosive device on a road in Iraq in 2003.

Or in Sussex, Katie – a seventh grader at Templeton Middle School – shared a profound perspective on the impact of war.

These are just a few of the many stories from the Veterans Coming Home team and communities across the country.

We invite you to join the conversation online through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and keep up with the stories on wpt.org.

Extended Report on “Too Many Candles: Milwaukee Gun Violence”

After the premiere of our most recent documentary, Too Many Candles: Milwaukee Gun Violenceour partners at Wisconsin Public Radio and the University of Wisconsin-Cooperative Extension decided to explore some of the issues addressed in the film, continuing the ongoing discussion surrounding gun violence in Milwaukee and in the nation. Below, follow the research and reporting done by Scott Gordon:

WATCH NOW: “Too Many Candles: Milwaukee Gun Violence”

Gordon’s three-part series on Milwaukee gun violence begins with some historical context. For a more nuanced view of the socio-economic segregation and the challenges faced by low-income families in Milwaukee, read How Milwaukee’s Economic, Social Disparities Correspond With Gun Violence

“Although crime, poverty and other social factors often overlap, mapping these factors in Milwaukee shows dramatic divisions that align with the city’s racial segregation.”

In this article, Gordon explores the focus on infamous zip-code 53206 – a series of numbers that, according to Gordon, “has become social-science and media shorthand for the violence, hunger, lack of opportunity and sense of hopelessness plaguing Milwaukee’s poorest residents.” Continue reading Extended Report on “Too Many Candles: Milwaukee Gun Violence”

Director’s Cut: Michael Neelsen & “Last Day at Lambeau”

Look alive Packer fans! This week on Director’s Cut,  I had the pleasure of interviewing director Michael Neelsen about his documentary Last Day at Lambeau. This is a fascinating look at the last days of Brett Favre’s career with the Green Bay Packers. Although the bridge between Favre and the Packer organization has recently been rebuilt, Last Day takes us back to when the unthinkable happened: Favre left the Packers and to make things worse, eventually donned a Minnesota Vikings uniform! 

Continue reading Director’s Cut: Michael Neelsen & “Last Day at Lambeau”

WPT Previews – Too Many Candles: Milwaukee Gun Violence

“We gather with far too many candles …”

Those are words of grief shared at a citywide vigil in Milwaukee for victims of gun violence. As the number of murders in the city has spiked in the past year, community members, police officials and city leaders are trying to answer questions that seem unanswerable as the dreams of more and more young people fall silent to a growing epidemic of homicides in the streets.

In this new documentary, award-winning journalist Frederica Freyberg explores the pain inflicted by the scourge of violence, law enforcement response to the rise in violent crime, and new programs providing hope for a city working to empower communities to reverse systemic forces of poverty, incarceration and crime that are tearing families and neighborhoods apart. In the search for answers, Freyberg interviews community members, public officials, church leaders and members of the families who have been directly affected by gun deaths in the city.

Too Many Candles: Milwaukee Gun Violence premieres 7 p.m. Monday, May 9 on WPT. The documentary will also stream online in full at wpt.org beginning the day of broadcast. The film will air on Milwaukee Public Television 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 14.

Too Many Candles: Milwaukee Gun Violence is part of WPT’s in-depth look at gun violence in America. The conversation will continue regularly on WPT’s weekly news and public affairs program, Here and Now, Friday nights at 7:30.

Two powerful Independent Lens documentaries on WPT May 9 and 10 will also cover national gun violence issues. Each film will be followed by an in-depth on-air town hall discussion:

Independent Lens: Peace Officer
8 p.m. Monday, May 9
Explore the effects of our increasingly militarized policing through the eyes of a former sheriff.

Independent Lens: The Armor of Light
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10
Follow an Evangelical minister and the mother of a teenage shooting victim who ask, is it possible to be both pro-gun and pro-life?

Here and Now: State Voter I.D. Information

As Wisconsin voters head to the polls Tuesday, it will be the largest election to date under Wisconsin’s new voter ID requirements. Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson joined Here and Now to outline what kinds of identification will be accepted at the polls, and how citizens who don’t yet have any can file a provisional ballot.

For more information on the state’s voter ID law, visit the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board’s informational site at bringit.wi.gov/

Here and Now: Speaker Of The House Paul Ryan Talks Presidential Politics

As the presidential primary season moves into Wisconsin with next week’s April 5 statewide election, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, joins Frederica Freyberg on this week’s Here and Now to talk about the elections, the Republican candidates and his role as the chairman of this year’s GOP Convention in Cleveland.

Watch the full interview online below and tune in to Here and Now on Wisconsin Public Television 7:30 Friday night. Find full voting information, polling places, candidate profiles and election news from WPT and WPR at WisconsinVote.org.

UPDATE: Full Video Inside – Watch the Dalai Lama Speak in Madison

UPDATE: The full archived video of the presentation is now available to view on demand below or on the PBS channel of your Roku or other digital device.

In his 10th visit to UW-Madison, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, will participate in a panel discussion on global well-being, emotional health and mindfulness. Watch the presentation from Madison’s Overture Center streaming live online from Wisconsin Public Television at 1:30 p.m. in the video box below. We’ll add the on-demand archived video to this post after the event, as soon as it is available.

We will also broadcast the presentation on TV at a later date. Stay tuned to wpt.org to find out the air date.

“Making A Murderer” Attorney Dean Strang Discusses Another Historic Case

Have you watched Netflix’s Making a Murderer, the real-crime documentary series that explores the 2005 Manitowoc homicide of Teresa Halbach and subsequent conviction of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey?

The series has inspired wide-ranging interest in the case that shook the state, as Avery had previously been released from prison after an earlier conviction for a 1985 sexual assault that was later proven to be wrong. The series has also made stars out of two of Avery’s Wisconsin defense lawyers, Dean Strang and Jerry Buting, who have now appeared regularly on national TV programs and are even going on tour for a series of theater conversations about the case. (This includes a March 18 event at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee.)

Strang, a longtime defense attorney and professor at the UW-Madison and Marquette University law schools, is also a scholar on cases involving wrongful convictions. He even appeared on Wisconsin Public Television’s University Place in 2013 to talk about another historic case in which Clarence Darrow freed wrongly convicted men accused in a 1917 bombing of a Milwaukee police department. Watch that interview online, or on the PBS channel of your Roku or other digital device now.