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Posts Tagged ‘watchdog’

Bakersfield Express

Posted by jessdrkn on December 6, 2009

Location: Bakersfield, California 

Focus: “Expressing community through arts, culture and civic involvement”; information categories include “arts & culture”, “green living”, “non-profits and volunteering”, “quality of life”; calendar listings

Started: August 2009

Staff: executive director/managing editor; board of directors; solicitation for contributors

Funding: non-profit, pending 501(c)3 status; donations


From About Us:

The content comes from a mix of independent reporting, community contributed columns and photos, and reader commentary. The website offers an independent, alternative source of local news and information, as well as an opportunity for outreach among community groups.Bakersfield Express is a professional and ethical voice in the community, and offers a place for community members to express themselves. We hold local government accountable through watchdog reporting, offer a central online meeting place for the arts community, and support eco-friendly lifestyle practices. We also build community by encouraging people to volunteer through our nonprofit portal and send in events for our community calendar.

Sample stories: “Artists represent isolation, loss associated with homelessness”; “Kern County has power to be renewable energy leader”; “Dia de los Muertos celebrations are to die for”; “Community concert season off to a jiving start”; “Help needed for tree planting, grove cleanup”

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Texas Watchdog

Posted by jessdrkn on August 31, 2009

Location: Houston (coverage is statewide)  texaswatchdog

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

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