|Foundation date||September 2009|
|Headquarters||Bismarck, North Dakota, United States|
|Alexa rank||54,679 (March 2014[update])|
|Type of site||News & blogging|
Watchdog.org is a non-profit (news) website that features reporting on state and local government. It is a project of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
According to the Watchdog.org website, the organization exists to “(enhance) communication between reporters and (provide) a forum for published journalism, Watchdog.org promotes a vibrant, well-informed electorate and a more transparent government. Watchdog.org utilizes a state-specific approach, in order to provide readers with information that is of proximate and practical interest.”
According to the website, “Watchdog.org is a collection of independent journalists covering state-specific and local government activity. The program began in September 2009, a project of Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to promoting new media journalism. Watchdog.org’s investigative journalists and capitol news reporters across the country are doing what legacy journalism outlets prove unable to do: share information, dive deep into investigations, and provide the fourth estate that has begun to fade in recent decades.”
In July 2011, the Pew Foundation's Project for Excellence in Journalism was reported to have found that, among other non-profit news outlets, "the conservative Watchdog.org sites ... don't reveal much about who’s paying their bills, and their work skews clearly in one direction, both in the topics they cover and the content of individual stories".
In response to such criticism, Vice President for Journalism Steven Greenhut wrote in the Huffington Post: “Like many non-profits, we don't publicize our donors. We do publicize our approach to journalism: We approach stories from a free-market, pro-liberty perspective, just as other publications have their own take. We state ours upfront and let the readers make their own decisions about the veracity of our pieces.”
Watchdog.org states that it abides by the Code of Ethics promulgated by the Society of Professional Journalists and is guided by standards of the Associated Press. On February 16, 2010, the organization was certified by Google News.
Watchdog.org's sponsor, the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, does not disclose donor information. According to the organization website, "The Franklin Center protects the identification of its generous donors and ensures anonymity of all contributions.”
Watchdog News Bureaus
Watchdog.org consists of 23 state news bureaus with journalists reporting on state and local government. The Watchdog.org brand of news organizations is used by over a dozen state-watchdog news groups in the network. Many of these publications are projects by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, the same non-profit group that sponsors Watchdog.org.
The network includes news outlets such as Hawaii Reporter, Illinois Watchdog, Wisconsin Reporter and bureaus in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio Watchdog, Oklahoma, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wyoming, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Idaho.
Watchdog.org's sponsoring organization, the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity promotes itself as an advocacy group for “transparency in government.” They support this through the use of “new media.” Watchdog.org and the Franklin Center believe that journalists must master new media, and they offer in-depth training and education to individuals and organizations interested in learning new media techniques and how to be citizen journalists.
- Watchdog.org website
- Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity website
- New Mexico Watchdog website
- Illinois Watchdog
- Hawaii Reporter
- Wisconsin Reporter
- Watchdog Wire
- "Watchdog.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2014-03-01.
- Peters, Justin. "‘Serious, point-of-view journalism’?". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Watchdog.org About Page
- Organization self-description
- Benton, Joshua, "Pew: Nonprofit journalism doesn’t mean ideology-free", Neiman Journalism Lab, July 18, 2011 9 am. Link to Pew study. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
- Greenhunt response to critics
- Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics
- AP Guidelines
- Franklin Center Now Featured on Google News
- Franklin Center Media Statement
- Watchdog.org FAQ page
- Watchdog States
- West Virginia Watchdog
- Kansas Watchdog
- Nebraska Watchdog
- PA Independent Welcomed Into State Press Association
- "Franklin Center". Nieman Journalism Lab. Retrieved 29 October 2012.
- Colorado Watchdog
- Northwest Watchdog
- Franklin Center FAQ page
- Franklin Center Mission page
- Watchdog.org and Statehouse News Online Now Available As iPhone Apps