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Meeting on proposal to prosecute journalists back on

in News

By Shereen Siewert

Officials in southwestern Wisconsin are going ahead with a meeting on a resolution that calls for prosecuting journalists who edit an upcoming news release on a water quality study.

“Violators will be prosecuted,” the proposal reads.

The Lafayette County Land Conservation Committee was set to vote on the resolution Tuesday. But county attorney Nathan Russell said Monday morning that the vote wouldn’t happen and the resolution won’t be considered “in the near future.”

The resolution remained on the committee’s Tuesday agenda as of Monday evening. Russell told The Associated Press that he had just learned the meeting was still on and apologized for what he called “the confusion.”

The resolution centers on the upcoming release of findings from a water quality study. It warns that journalists who alter or edit the county news release’s summarizing the findings would be prosecuted.

Any outlet that disobeys would face charges, though the proposal doesn’t specify which law an offending organization would be accused of violating.

“Under no circumstances is the media allowed to glean information and selectively report it in order to interpret the results for their own means,” the resolution reads.

The proposal was submitted anonymously, and it is unclear who wrote the resolution.

Legal experts say the resolution is clearly unconstitutional.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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