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'7 Investigates' marks one year, expands commitment

Published: Jan. 20, 2017 at 5:42 AM CST
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One year after launching north central Wisconsin's only television investigative unit, '7 Investigates,' WSAW-TV NewsChannel 7 is expanding its commitment to bring viewers stories that uncover the truth, hold the powerful accountable and inspire change.

Beginning Monday Jan. 30, Emily Davies moves to a full time investigative reporting role-- joining veteran investigative reporter Matthew Simon to form north central Wisconsin's only investigative team.

“We are dedicating more resources than ever before to investigative and enterprise journalism because we know there is an appetite for this type of storytelling in our area,” said News Director Jessica Laszewski. “We want to be the first station people turn to when an issue demands a closer look and when they want stories they won't find anywhere else.”

In Jan. 2016, NewsChannel 7 launched its '7 Investigates' brand and has produced more than 50 stories including: uncovering system changes eventually leading President Barak Obama to sign Veterans Affairs opiate prescribing reforms in honor of Stevens Point Marine Corps veteran Jason Simcakoski; exposing how 1-out-of-3 veterans emergency care bills were being denied, showing how there are no tornado siren or first responder radio accountability laws, abuses in taxpayer funded job and funeral programs, obtaining thousands of documents behind political scandals that rocked our community and giving those who would normally not have a voice a platform.

"I'm excited to now have a partner in our mission to respond when viewers need help, looking at loopholes in laws, protecting the vulnerable and public safety, the way tax dollars are spent, abuses in systems and who is behind financing politicians," Simon said. "Emily's passion for quality investigative journalism will be a tremendous community service to our viewers. We’ll make sure we are the first place to break stories that matter to our community."

Davies investigative reports include a 2015 investigation into ski tows and lifts throughout the viewing area, ensuring that all ski areas are following proper protocol to keep riders safe; an in-depth look at Marathon County's plan to re-address the county with a uniform addressing system, in time for emergency first responders' upgrades of its computer assisted dispatch system; and most recently, the uncovering of an illegal sex trade and how prevalent it is throughout north central Wisconsin.

“While journalism involves covering events and reacting to things that happen throughout the community, at the heart of journalism is the quest for the truth, no matter how ugly. It requires a lot more digging and I’m ready, with a figurative shovel, to do that work,” Davies said. “Our effort also requires the cooperation from the community we serve, which is why we that ask you, the viewers, help be the eyes and ears of your community and let us know when something needs to be investigated.”

Story ideas can be sent to Emily Davies, Matthew Simon or the newsroom at the information below.

Investigative Line: (715)203-1503

Emily Davies

Email: emily.davies@wsaw.com

Matthew Simon

Email: matthew.simon@wsaw.com

About the '7 Investigates' Team

With a passion for giving those without a voice a platform, digging deep into documents to help viewers make informed decisions and holding the powerful accountable for their actions, veteran broadcast journalist Matthew Simon is proud to have joined NewsChannel 7 as the station's investigative reporter in Jan. 2016.

A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Simon's nearly 20 years of National Edward R. Murrow and Regional EMMY® Award-winning experience includes working as a reporter/anchor in Madison for WISC-TV (CBS); the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina for Time Warner Cable's 24-Hour statewide news channel, Time Warner Cable News; an investigative reporter/supervising producer for Gray-sister station KTUU-Channel 2 News (NBC) in Anchorage, Alaska; weekend anchor/senior reporter for KTVA-11 News (CBS) in Anchorage, Alaska; reporter for KAKE-News (ABC) in Wichita, Kansas and weekend anchor/investigative reporter for KOMU 8 News (NBC) in Columbia, Missouri. Matthew's career started as a promotions intern/producer at WVTM-TV (NBC) in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

Davies began her career at WSAW-TV in Oct. 2013, after graduating magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and a minor in psychology from California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She is also an active member of the Radio Television and Digital News Association and serves on a subcommittee called NextJ, which helps the organization remain relevant to the next generation of journalists. During Davies' time at WSAW, she has served as Sunrise 7 producer, weekend reporter, weekday/evening reporter, Sunrise 7 Sunday anchor/producer, and most recently as Sunrise 7 anchor and investigative reporter on special projects. Davies grew up in the southern Wisconsin Town of Pewaukee until moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2003. While in California, she interned at the FOX affiliate in Oakland, KTVU-TV, and KABC, the ABC affiliate in Los Angeles, as well as worked on CSUN's publicly broadcasted public affairs show, 'CSUN On Point;' Society of Professional Journalist award-winning newscast, 'Valley View News;' and radio news station, KCSN.

WSAW/WZAW-TV is the market leading CBS/FOX Affiliate serving north central Wisconsin.