Location: Houston (coverage is statewide)
Focus: watchdog, investigative reports in Texas; commitment to state and local government muckraking
Started: August 2008
Employees/Writers: Non-profit founded by Trent Siebert, a former reporter at the Nashville Tennessean. Reporters, board of directors.
Funding: start-up monies from the Sam Adams Alliance, a libertarian non-profit based in Chicago; other revenue comes from Texas Watchdog’s blogger/citizen-journalist training program; there is a donation solicitation on the site
[from Who We Are page] Texas Watchdog is a news Web site and training center that scrutinizes the actions of government agencies, bureaucracies and politicians in Texas. It is an independent, nonpartisan entity founded on the belief that our American democracy depends on transparency in government.
Texas Watchdog serves as a government watchdog and training center where reporters, bloggers and activists of any stripe learn how to uncover waste, fraud and corruption in state and local governments. This combination of news outlet and training facility creates a two-tiered approach to holding governments and officials accountable for their actions.
Sample stories: “Did [U.S. Senator] Kay Bailey Hutchison cross an ethical line by supporting a rail line that is a payday for her husband?”; “Gaps in Senator Royce West’s reporting of fees from groups with lobbyists”; “La Porte councilman traveled, other council members stayed home”; “Houston Airport System: Releasing salary list would make airports vulnerable to terrorists”
Around the Web about Texas Watchdog: “A New Watchdog for Texas” AJR story from February/March 2009 issue; and from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism page on new news business models, July 17, 2009 post: “News Innovators on the Frontline: Texas Watchdog“