Isthmus news editor Bill Lueders has received a Genesis Award from the Humane Society of the United States for his reporting on animal issues. Lueders was honored for his reporting on animal research at the UW-Madison, including his story about a 5-year-old primate named ro4040 and his articles on decompression experiments involving sheep. "It was a great honor for me and for Isthmus," says Lueders, whose article on primate research was excerpted in the award booklet for the star-studded ceremony in Beverly Hills.

Continue ReadingIsthmus News Editor Wins National Award for Animal Issues Reporting

The Madison, Wis., alt-weekly is "looking at ways to reduce expenses like everybody has to," publisher Vince O'Hern tells the Capital Times. "Nothing is decided. It may involve some people taking leaves, and some people not being on staff anymore." News editor Bill Lueders says A&E editor Dean Robbins will take an unpaid six-month leave to tend to "personal projects and other work." Other than that, he says talk of any staff changes is premature. Isthmus employs 10 editorial staffers, and the total staff size is about three dozen, according to Lueders.

Continue ReadingFaced With ‘Pretty Flat’ Ad Revenue, Isthmus Considers Possible Layoffs

Bill Lueders' "Cry Rape," which details the sexual assault of a woman and her hellish ordeal navigating the Madison justice system, has been covered by more than 100 media outlets around the world, reports the Capital Times. The author and his subject also appeared last night on FOX News' "Hannity and Colmes" show. The woman's attorney tells the paper that he has also received a preliminary contact from a representative of Oprah Winfrey's production company. A second printing of "Cry Rape" is due in stores this week.

Continue ReadingIsthmus News Editor’s Book Draws National Media Attention

Isthmus News Editor Bill Lueders first chronicled Patty's ordeal in 1998, a year after the visually impaired woman was charged with falsely reporting a rape. Prosecutors eventually dropped the charges, and in 2001 a suspect was charged with her sexual assault. Now the Madison City Council has voted to make an official apology to Patty, to pay her $35,000 in reparations, and to review police department policy on dealing with victims of sexual assault. According to The Capital Times, the apology resolution was "inspired" by the recent publication of Lueders book, Cry Rape, an "engrossing tale" based on his original investigation of the case.

Continue ReadingMadison Apologizes to Rape Victim Profiled in Lueders’ Book

When Isthmus News Editor Bill Lueders first wrote about "Patty," a visually impaired woman charged with falsely reporting a rape, he hoped his 4,400-word piece would influence the prosecution to change direction. That was in 1998, and Lueders was so confident Patty was telling the truth that he told the mayor he would quit his job if he was proved wrong. His article didn't have the effect he had hoped, but prosecutors did eventually drop the charges against Patty, and in 2001 a suspect was charged with sexually assaulting her. Lueders expanded his investigation into a book, Cry Rape, newly published by the University of Wisconsin Press. The Capital Times in Madison, Wis., says Lueders' "achievement is large -- the book is not a polemic, the tone is not angry, but the systemic fallibility Cry Rape reveals is frightening."

Continue ReadingIsthmus News Editor Writes Book About ‘Heart-Breaking’ Case

Isthmus News Editor Bill Lueders will join songwriter Peter Leidy in performing "a medley of songs about journalism" this Saturday at the Society of Professional Journalists'convention in Chicago. Lueders first combined his passions for writing and music when he and Leidy released "The Open Records Blues" for Sunshine Week in March. The duo promises to debut a new song this weekend that was written specifically for SPJ.

Continue ReadingIsthmus News Editor Is ‘Rock Star of the J-World’

Bill Lueders (pictured) wrote the lyrics based on his own troubles with records requests, then convinced Wisconsin musician Peter Leidy to write music and record the song in time for Sunshine Week, a national observance of the public's right to information about its government. "It's a topic with contemporary resonance," says Lueders, who is also the president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council. Isthmus won two open records lawsuits against the Madison Police Department, in 1996 and 1998. "The Open Records Blues" can be downloaded here and is free for broadcast.

Continue ReadingIsthmus News Editor Pens ‘The Open Records Blues’