The Rewind: Week of Jan 31, 2022


Every week, journalists at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications report important stories for people in the North Central Florida area and beyond. This is The Rewind from WUFT News, a look into some of the strongest reporting from our newsroom and a discussion with the journalists who write these stories.

The 30-minute episode features a deeper dive into our top stories of the week. In this episode, we discuss upcoming legislation to limit the details of certain child deaths, new rules for anonymous Florida political text messages and how redistricting will affect a historically Black Florida town. 


Part 1: Florida legislation to possibly keep details about some child deaths secret

The legislature is currently considering two bills, HB 1513 by Rep. Charles ”Chuck” Clemons, R-Jonesville, and SB 1550 by Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, which would limit access to details about children who die in domestic violence cases. The legislation was filed in deference to a Gainesville mother who lost both her sons last summer at the hands of their father.

Fresh Take Florida’s Anna Wilder has been following the story since then and discussed the logistics of the bill and the broader story in this interview.


Part 2: Florida enforces new rules on anonymous political messages

New regulations from the Florida Election Commission will crack down on anonymous political texts and require them to pay a fine for not explicitly stating who paid for the messages. The new rules set the fine at $200 to $250 for each text, which could amount to thousands over a campaign. The election commission is open to comments from the public until Thursday but stated it had the authority to pass the regulations without approval from the Legislature.

Fresh Take Florida’s Carolina Ilvento broke down what this rule means for Florida political campaigns in this interview. 


Part 3: Small, historically Black Florida town to lose Black congressman under new redistricting plan

Madison is a rural, historically Black Florida town east of Tallahassee that would lose a seat in Congress if Gov. Ron DeSantis’s redistricting plan is approved. The plan would redraw their congressional district leaving Democratic congressman Al Lawson vulnerable to losing his seat to the new, mostly Republican and white district created.

In this interview, Fresh Take Florida’s Steven Walker explained how this change would affect both Lawson and the community he planned to represent in office. 

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