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In mid-November I spent a week in the dark media room attached to courtroom 4B of the Dane County Courthouse in Madison. Shooting through the thick glass with my long lens, I documented the trial of a Stoughton woman who had been accused of abusing a child in her care. Her case was similar to others Wisconsin Watch has been reporting on for years, as part of our investigation into the controversial field of child abuse pediatrics, chronicled in our series Flawed Forensics.
Near 5 p.m. on Friday the jury returned after deliberating for only two hours. My heart was pounding as we waited for the verdict. When the judge read “not guilty” I held down the motor drive on the camera and captured the emotional scene of elation as caregiver Kathryn Campbell hugged her legal team and family.
As journalists, one of the main things that inspires our work is the joy of being with people, earning their trust, learning about their different experiences, and being able to translate those realities into meaningful reporting.
Here is a selection of work from our Wisconsin Watch photographers that provides a glimpse into the daily life of the people who help us tell our stories.
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Wisconsin Watch’s best photos from 2021 capture moments of elation, contemplation and joy.
by Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch, Wisconsin Watch December 20, 2021
Coburn Dukehart is an Associate Director at Wisconsin Watch. She joined the organization in 2015 as the Digital and Multimedia Director. She is currently head of product and audience, directs visual and digital strategy; creates visual content; manages digital assets and trains student and professional journalists. Dukehart previously was a senior photo editor at National Geographic, picture and multimedia editor at NPR, and a photo editor at USATODAY.com and washingtonpost.com. She has received numerous awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, National Press Photographers Association, Pictures of the Year International and the White House News Photographers Association.