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Kathryn Campbell and defense attorney Nathan Otis react to Campbell’s not guilty verdict in her criminal trial at the Dane County Courthouse, in Madison, Wis., on Nov. 12, 2021. Campbell was found not guilty of the charge of abusing a 4-month-old in her care. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

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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.

Melody Homesly, left, and Carnetta Galvin stand on a bridge that crosses Starkweather Creek near Galvins home of 16 years in the Darbo-Worthington neighborhood of Madison, Wis., on Aug. 3, 2021. Galvin says she was not initially aware that the creek contained high levels of PFAS, the group of hazardous, human-made chemicals that are drawing concerns across Wisconsin. “I feel disappointed and sad about not knowing what is affecting our health,” Galvin says. Isaac Wasserman / Wisconsin Watch

Related story: ‘Something has to be done’: Living along Madison’s Starkweather Creek, one of Wisconsin’s most polluted waterways.

David and Amy Fischer stand together in the milking barn on their 350-cow dairy farm, Darian Acres, in Rio, Wis., on Dec. 18, 2020. Their son, Brian, died by suicide in 2016. “It don’t go away,” David Fischer said about the heartache he feels. “He should be here.” Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Related story: ‘The happiness and joy has been sucked out of me’: Wisconsin dairy farmers face mental health crisis

Ramiah Whiteside of Milwaukee holds a sign during a protest outside of the Wisconsin governors mansion in Maple Bluff, Wis., on Nov. 24, 2020. Event organizers sought to draw attention to the thousands of inmates and staff who have contracted COVID-19 in state prisons and called for Gov. Tony Evers to slow the spread of the disease by reducing overcrowding. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Related story: ‘He shouldn’t have had to die’: COVID-19 infects half of Wisconsin inmates, five times the overall state rate

Gov. Tony Evers is seen after calling on the Wisconsin Legislature to meet in special session to expand BadgerCare, the state’s health care program for the poor, during a press conference at the Benevolent Specialist Project Free Clinic on May 19, 2021, in Middleton, Wis. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Madison, Wis., is seen via drone on Feb. 1, 2021, from the plaza in front of Monona Terrace. In background is the state Capitol building. The words “Defund the Police” can be seen painted in yellow on Martin Luther King Jr., Blvd. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch
Shuaib Al-Mujaahid, 9, plays with toy cars at his familys rental home in Milwaukee on July 8, 2021. In 2014, he tested positive for lead poisoning, but his father says city officials did not notify the family for years. The Al-Mujaahids stopped drinking water from their tap after learning about risks from lead service lines that carry water into their home and thousands of others in Milwaukee. Isaac Wasserman / Wisconsin Watch

Related story: ‘It’s criminal’: Milwaukeeans call for speedier lead pipeline removal to cut childhood poisoning

Jared Cain is seen near the intersection of West Center Street and North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Milwaukee on March 11, 2021. That’s where he livestreamed a video showing protests against the police killing of George Floyd just after midnight on June 1, 2020. Police later cited the video as proof that he was in public after a 9 p.m. curfew, issuing a curfew ticket that was later dismissed. “To me it’s just systematic racism, and something has got to change,” Cain said of Milwaukees curfew enforcement. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Related story: In wake of Wisconsin’s racial justice protests, curfew tickets raise equity and speech questions

After being convicted of bail jumping, Christopher Kartsounes was supervised by Outagamie County Circuit Judge Vincent Biskupic via multiple “review hearings.” After an outburst of frustration at one appearance, Biskupic sent Kartsounes to jail to serve the sentence he had tried to avoid. Had Kartsounes just served his time, he’d have been free more than six months earlier. Kartsounes is pictured here in his room at the Rodeway Inn on May 21, 2021, in Appleton, Wis. Dan Powers / USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin for Wisconsin Watch

Related story: ‘Why do you keep harassing me?’: An Outagamie County judge controls defendants after sentencing

The Hellenbrand children and their cousins enjoyed the snow on New Years Day, pulling sleds on snowmobiles at the family’s home in rural Dane, Wis. Reagan Hellenbrand, second from right, says she can’t wait to return to in-person schooling at the Lodi School District, which is scheduled to begin later this month. Will Cioci / Wisconsin Watch

Related story: As semester ends in Wisconsin, COVID-19 fears shrink — while concerns of academic slide grow

Hoyt Purinton, president of the Washington Island Ferry line and a seasoned captain, leads a fleet of five ferries that navigate the waters off of Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula year-round. His family business has faced a host of challenges from Lake Michigan’s shifting waters in recent years. “It’s been a wild ride. It opens up your world view. It reminds you you’re not in charge,” Purinton says. He is seen here on Sept. 21, 2021. (Brett Kosmider / Door County Pulse)

Related story: The water always wins’: Calls to protect shorelines as volatile Lake Michigan inflicts heavy toll

Lisa Xiong, a staff member at The Hmong Institute, gets her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic put on by The Hmong Institute, in Madison, Wis., on March 9, 2021. “It wasn’t as bad as I thought,” she said after receiving the shot from Laurel Losenegger, a volunteer RN with the Benevolent Specialists Project. There were initially 40 people signed up to receive the allocated shots, but volunteer nurses were able to get 10 more doses out of their vials, resulting in people being able to be called in quickly from the waitlist. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Related story: Wisconsin has wasted few COVID-19 vaccine doses, data show

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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 and 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.