Inducted into the Wisconsin Newspaper Hall of Fame in 2011
In a career spanning nearly five decades, David Zweifel, editor emeritus of The Capital Times of Madison, has been an articulate and tireless advocate for the people’s “right to know” the workings of their government and how its actions affect their daily lives. As a reporter, editor, and newspaper executive he has dedicated himself to the highest standards of community journalism and professionalism as dozens of reporters and editors who experienced Zweifel’s mentoring, teaching and leadership can attest.
Zweifel joined The Capital Times as a reporter in 1962, was later named city editor, then managing editor and finally editor-in-chief in 1983. In 2008, he stepped down as full-time editor to become editor emeritus and continues to write three opinion columns weekly, oversee the editorial pages and contribute editorials. While Zweifel serves many boards, committees, associations and trusts, his most significant contributions to the profession, his community and the state have stemmed from his passion to be a newspaperman.
Involved in the beginnings of Wisconsin’s Freedom of Information Council he went on to serve as its president for 15 years. Zweifel was a major guiding force in the 2010 enactment of Wisconsin’s reporter shield law.
Although he is well-known to decades of leaders in Wisconsin’s political and business community, Zweifel’s self-effacing style is best exemplified in his long-running column, “Plain Talk” — he has never forgotten that he is a home-town kid from New Glarus, Wisconsin.