Matthew DeFour heads Wisconsin Watch’s new Statehouse office

Matthew Defour will be the new Statehouse Editor for Wisconsin Watch. He will lead a three-person Statehouse office as editor and reporter starting September 6, 2022. (Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch)

Wisconsin Watch is pleased to announce the hiring of Matthew DeFour to head its new Statehouse office.

As a longtime reporter and editor of the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison, DeFour will join Wisconsin Watch on September 6th. He will head up a three-person Statehouse office as editor and reporter.

The team will focus its investigative reporting on threats to Wisconsin democracy. It will work closely with the entire Wisconsin Watch staff and work with other news outlets to examine issues related to the integrity and quality of life of government, including the environment, education, the economy, racial and criminal justice, and health.

DeFour, 40, comes to Wisconsin Watch with a wealth of experience reporting on local and state government in Wisconsin. For five years he served on the Wisconsin State Legislature, Governor’s Office and state agencies for the State Journal. For the past four years, DeFour has directed State Journal coverage at The State Journal. Previously, DeFours Beats included the Dane County government and K-12 education.

His history of deep, badass government reporting earned him that Distinguished Wisconsin Watchdog Award for 2020.

DeFour is located in Madison. He can be reached at [email protected]

DeFour, who has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University, describes his early passion for business growing up in Michigan.

“My first act as a journalist was in 8th grade,” DeFour said. “Our principal canceled the year-end overnight trip and I was so outraged that I rewrote Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, substituting the principal’s name for King George, printed copies and distributed them to the students the next day. In high school, I was one of two freshmen accepted to write for the school newspaper. For the last year I was an editor and I knew journalism was my calling.”

Other members of the Statehouse Bureau team include:

Matt Mencarini, who came to Wisconsin Watch from the Louisville Courier-Journal investigative team. He is based in Madison and can be reached at [email protected]

Jacob Resneck, a member of the Report for America Corps, most recently working as an editor and reporter for the non-profit public media consortium CoastAlaska in Juneau, Alaska. He is based in Oshkosh and can be reached at [email protected]

Wisconsin Watch is dedicated to examining the state of democracy in Wisconsin, including electoral access, electoral integrity, disinformation, gender rights, threats to public officials and workplace democracy.

“Matt brings a high level of passion to everything he does, and this job will be no exception,” said Editor-in-Chief Dee J. Hall. “His in-depth knowledge of state government and the political landscape will be invaluable as we explore how Wisconsin can save its democracy.”

About Wisconsin Watch: The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism increases the quality, quantity, and understanding of investigative reporting in Wisconsin while educating current and future generations of investigative journalists. Our work promotes informed citizenship and strengthens democracy. Wisconsin Watch, the center’s news agency, distributes its content to newspapers, radio and television stations, and news websites in Wisconsin and nationwide. In 2021, Wisconsin Watch produced 74 major stories that were picked up by more than 360 news outlets and reached an estimated audience of more than 60 million.

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This article appeared first and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.


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