citizen journalism

Obama administration tries to sell itself as more open and transparent; don't believe it

Friends, it's Sunshine Week, the annual push by those who would democratize our government by opening up our government to make our case. So Dateline Earth is taking a one-week hiatus while I populate InvestigateWest's From The Field blog with tales of how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is failing to engage with me and other journalists; how the EPA routinely drags out simple requests for public records; how the Obama administration is going to court to fight numerous requests for public records; and how the Obama administration is no better than George W. Bush's when it comes to squelching government scientists. Finally, courtesy of the Society of Environmental Journalists, we'll provide a list of important information sources for citizens, citizen journalists and yes even full-time journalists to use in prying information out of the government. It's all over at our From The Field blog.

-- Robert McClure  

Rita Hibbard's picture

InvestigateWest adds its reporting muscle to national report on Super Bowl perks for Congress

rita_hibbardwebInvestigateWest added its reporting muscle to ProPublica, the investigative reporting organization based in New York, for a report detailing which members of Congress benefited from their status as high-ranking public officials to obtain sought-after tickets to yesterday's Super Bowl.

As ProPublica found, with the help of InvestigateWest, many other media organizations and citizen journalists around the country, interest cooled, perhaps after it became known that media attention was focused on this sometime perk of public office. Or perhaps a record snowstorm had something to do with it.

Was it the two feet of snow that blanketed Washington during the days leading up to the Super Bowl? Or was it the unintended consequence of our Super Bowl Blitz [1], a two-week telephone survey that ProPublica conducted with the help of its readers, trying to find out which members of Congress would be attending this year’s big game?

In any case, at least two Super Bowl fundraising events scheduled by members of Congress were scrubbed at the last minute or moved to undisclosed locations. Invitations to those parties, which had been circulated two or more weeks before the game, promised Super Bowl tickets to contributors who gave either of the lawmakers $5,000.