School honored four former students at April 24 dinner

Mike McCabe, former director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, was one of four former UW-Madison journalism students honored at the school’s April 24 awards dinner.

McCabe, who headed the WDC from 2000 to 2014, received a Distinguished Service Award. Under his leadership, the Democracy Campaign carefully tracked and publicized state campaign contributions. The WDC did its work too well for some politicians and lobbyists, but well enough to aid numerous political journalists in the state and nation. McCabe had earlier worked for the Madison Metropolitan School District and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Also earning a Distinguished Service Award was Naomi Patton, who was part of the Detroit Free Press reporting group that revealed the illegal behavior of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. She left the Free Press to be Mayor Dave Bing’s press secretary. She is now vice president at public relations firm Weber Shandwick in Detroit.

Cristina Daglas received the Ralph O. Nafziger Award, which honors a recent graduate of the school. Daglas worked for two city magazines, Milwaukee Magazine and D Magazine, before joining the staff of ESPN The Magazine, where she is lead college basketball editor.

Stephen D. Reese earned the Harold L. Nelson Award, which honors graduates for their outstanding records in mass communication education. Steve, who secured his doctoral degree from the school in 1982, has spent his entire career on the journalism faculty at the University of Texas-Austin. He is currently the Jesse H. Jones Professor in Journalism and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the UT College of Communication.

The journalism faculty and staff voted on the awards at a December meeting. The school has held an awards dinner every year since 1955.

Professor James Baughman