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Entries in Franklin Center (82)

Thursday
Apr102014

Franklin Center - Citizen journalism shines during Sunshine Week 

Citizen journalism shines during Sunshine Week

The Franklin Center’s citizen watchdog initiative, Watchdog Wire, recently observed Sunshine Week, a nationwide event all about two of the most important building blocks of good government: transparency and accountability.

“Sunshine Week is important because it raises awareness of our increasingly opaque government, and also shows citizens ways that they can help fight to maintain an open, accountable political system on all levels of government,” says Rachel Swaffer, Outreach Associate for Citizen Watchdog.

See what our citizen watchdogs accomplished during Sunshine Week

Watchdog.org Takes Home Six Awards at the Virginia Press Association’s Annual Conference

Alexandria, Va.– Two reporters from Watchdog.org’s Virginia Bureau won six awards–including two for first place–in the 2013 News/Editorial and Advertising Contest for the Virginia Press Association (VPA) on Saturday.

Read more here

A Note From Our President

Dear Reader,

While most offices were observing March Madness, our team of journalists observed Sunshine Week, a nationwide celebration of government transparency and accountability. On the ground across the country, Watchdog Wire's citizen journalists used open records laws, archives, and state and local government websites to cast light on the dark corners of government. We're committed to helping make citizens more aware of the tools they have in front of them to hold government accountable - because tyranny has no greater enemy than an informed and engaged citizenry.

Best regards,

Jason Stverak
President
Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity


P.S. If you would like to help us keep up the fight for a free press, you can donate here!

In The News

Obamacare's restaurant calorie label mandate is a complete mess

Government do-gooding is turning into a nightmare for small businesses

Read more

WatchdogWire

More crash, more cash at red-light camera intersections

Camera issues more tickets than town's total population!

Click here to see how much money it brought in!

Proponents and opponents target open-carry in Texas

Senate committee looks to remove barriers to Second Amendment rights

Watch the video here!

Stay Connected


Friday
Apr042014

Franklin Center - Shield law misunderstands the nature of journalism

Chuck Schumer’s shield law misunderstands the nature of journalism

After disturbing revelations last year that the Department of Justice was treating the privacy of U.S. citizens with the disdain it once reserved for enemies of the state, hopes were briefly raised that Congress would finally get around to legislating some long overdue protections for journalists. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) recently announced that the Senate has the votes to pass a media shield law to do so.

Find out more about the shield law

Maria Bartiromo’s Debut Is Another Win For Fox

The most successful businesses have one thing in common–they’re never satisfied with the status quo and are constantly looking for ways to deliver a better product. Take Fox News Channel, the undisputed ratings king of cable news that has been on a run of nearly-uninterrupted Nielsen dominance for almost a decade. Just as no business can sit at the top of the heap for 8 years without evolving, Fox knows that it needs to continue to hire the best available talent and reinvigorate its lineup to keep viewers tuning in.

Read more here

A Note From Our President

Dear Reader,

The U.S. Senate is poised to pass a bill that will extend legal protections to a narrow class of reporters. In the eyes of the government, a "journalist" is an employee of a legacy media outlet. But we know better! Journalism is a public service that anyone can perform. It's about researching facts, asking questions, and reporting the truth to your fellow citizens. Instead of erecting arbitrary barriers between journalists, the government should be protecting anyone willing to take up this cause--no matter who they are or where they work.

Best regards,

Jason Stverak
President
Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity


P.S. If you would like to help us keep up the fight for a free press, you can donate here!

In The News

Franklin Center launches blogger fellowship program

Please welcome our inaugural fellows: Ben Howe and Amelia Hamilton!

Read more here!

WatchdogWire

Citizen Spotlight: John Day

"I see my contribution to Citizen Watchdog as an act of public service."

Read about it here!

Healthcare 2.0: Millennials under Obamacare

Generation opportunity says young people just aren't signing up!

Here's Watchdog Wire's recap!

Stay Connected


Friday
Mar072014

Franklin Center - Public sector power for private sector gain

Coming to CPAC? Join us for a happy hour!

Are you coming to CPAC 2014? Make sure you join us at our happy hour with the Leadership Institute on Friday, March 7th! It's a great opportunity to connect with other liberty-minded people and learn about our new Journalism Internship Program!

Get all the details and register here!

Public sector power used for private gain in New Jersey

Watchdog Wire has the story of how one company will reap huge benefits thanks to education initiatives mandated by the Governor's office and Department of Education. New curriculum and a new evaluation and assessment system were forced onto public schools by the soon departing New Jersey Commissioner of Education.

Read the full story here!

A Note From Our President

Dear Reader,

You've probably read about Congress' many attempts to repeal and scale back Obamacare, but the fight to stop the law is also taking place in courtrooms across the nation. Our Watchdog reporters are keeping tabs on lawsuits filed in Florida and California, aimed at stopping President Obama from using executive power to change laws on the fly, and preventing state exchanges from triggering mass cancellations. Obamacare is creating chaos at all levels of government, and we've been there to cover it all. Read more of our reporting on Obamacare in Florida and California at Watchdog.org.

Best regards,

Jason Stverak
President, Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity

 

P.S. If you want to support independent watchdog journalism, you can donate here!

In The News

Covering privacy in Reason

Verizon reveals more about federal spying on customers.

Get the details here!

Watchdog.org

This is why we need audits

Comptroller audit finds TN school employee took nearly $500,000 in taxpayer funds to use for herself.

You'll never believe what she used it for!

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Friday
Feb282014

Franklin Center - 2014: The year of the union? 

2014: The year of the union?

Here at the Franklin Center, we’ve seen a disturbing theme emerge from our investigations over the past week – abusive union influence.

As citizens, we cannot afford to ignore these stories. Here are three of the most important ones.

VIDEO: Washington state exchange drops $2.6 million on rap videos

Why would a state spend so much money on 30-second music videos? To get young people to sign up for healthcare, of course!

Watch it here at WatchdogWire!

A Note From Our President

Dear Reader,

Unions claim to represent hard-working Americans, but the stories our reporters have uncovered recently tell a different tale. Big Labor is on the attack the attack in 2014, and whether it means spending hundreds of millions of dollars on campaigns or committing gross acts of physical violence, they're determined to take whatever steps necessary to ram through their agenda. Holding government accountable means holding interest groups accountable too, and our yearlong investigation of Labor's power play is just getting started.

Best regards,

Jason Stverak
President, Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity

 

P.S. If you want to support independent watchdog journalism, you can donate here!

In The News

TheBlaze airs "Investigating John Doe" - featuring Watchdog reporter M.D. Kittle

Drawing from Watchdog.org’s 28-part series, "Wisconsin’s Secret War," TheBlaze's "For the Record" exposes Democrats' war on free speech.

Here's how to watch it!

Events!

Coming to CPAC? Join us for a happy hour!

Here's your chance to connect with liberty-minded individuals and find out more about our new Journalism Internship Program and careers in investigative reporting.

Get all the details and register here!

Stay Connected


Friday
Feb072014

Franklin Center - The Birth of a News Bureau 

The Birth of a News Bureau

It started with a happy hour – or the lack thereof. Happy hours are banned in the state of Vermont because, the state says, it is beneficial to society. The policy raises questions, however. How helpful is it to the local economy? And are happy hours the type of thing the state should be banning in the first place?

Reporting for Vermont Watchdog, journalist Jon Street decided to dig deeper into the law and give voice to both sides of the debate. It was his first story for the Franklin Center’s newest Watchdog.org bureau. Just a week later, Street produced another story about the city of Burlington’s attempt to exploit a legal loophole in the name of gun control, garnering national attention.

Check out the latest stories from Vermont Watchdog, like on Facebook, and follow on Twitter!

A Note From Our President

Dear Reader,

Our first two months of business in Vermont have been a resounding success. From investigating gun control loopholes to exposing political spin in the state's unemployment figures, Vermont Watchdog reporters Jon Street and Yael Osskowski have sent quite the notice to the Green Mountain State's declining legacy media corps. Vermont Watchdog has already been cited multiple times by national publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Fox News. As Vermont attempts to implement a first-in-the-nation socialized single-payer health care system, 2014 promises to be a year of great challenges and great stories for the bureau.

Best regards,

Jason Stverak
President, Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity

 

P.S. If you would like to help us keep up the fight for a free press, you can donate here!

In The News

New Jersey Watchdog Exclusive Gains Recognition

New Jersey Watchdog’s exclusive on the criminal theft charges against Gov. Chris Christie’s state police bodyguard has been picked up by several news organizations including the Associated Press and Fox News.

Check it out here

More than just a search engine: Google flexes its global political muscle

Google’s corporate growth hasn’t come without a lust for political muscle, and the Internet behemoth has run afoul of authorities around the world as it attempts to broaden its economic and political power.

Read more on Franklin

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