Watchdog.org is a project of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, a non-profit organization that promotes a well-informed electorate and a more transparent government. Through state-based investigative reporters in more than 40 states, Watchdog.org exposes government waste, fraud and abuse of power.
Our reporters and editors follow these standards and practices:
- Our mission is to expose government misdeeds, advance liberty and look out for the taxpayers’ dollars.
- We are in no way partisan. We view the actions of all politicians as suspect. We do not shy away from that perspective, from that voice. This is a return to the roots of American journalism. Most newspapers were formed with a voice, with the mission of crusading against corruption and malfeasance.
- We use the latest new-media platforms to advance this journalistic mission. We publish our news stories on a variety of platforms, ranging from our own destination local and national Web sites, social media, podcasts and daily newspapers, and radio and TV stations.
- Our bureaus are small, sometimes just a single person, so we are not the “newspaper” of record in our communities. We are not trying to recreate the day-in, day-out stories produced by daily newspapers. We provide analysis, enterprise stories and investigations that are exciting to read and provide new information to readers. If the dailies have done the story and have done it well, we move on.
- We create our own agendas and attract people to them. We are not driven by the agendas of politicians and government officials — their hearings, press conferences, or meetings. We are not stenographers merely recording what others do.
- We leverage the ideas of others – our readers, gadflies, citizen journalists, activists, and academics — to produce lively, diverse journalism. We are not trying to provide “he-said, she-said” stories. We do fascinating stories, stories with drama, conflict, plot, narrative.
- As reporters, we take seriously the best arguments of the most serious critics of our working hypotheses.
- While we recognize that every news story emanates from a thesis – i.e., someone’s unique opinion, conviction or perspective – we feature distinct commentary sections. Commentary transcends and includes reporting, drawing conclusions and offering prescriptions.
- Our mission is to provide must-read news stories that enliven debate, anger officials, promote liberty and free markets, annoy politicians of all parties, expose waste and crusade for good government.
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