Citizen Journalism

New Participatory Project: Help Clean Up TobaccoWiki's "People" Database

We need help tidying up Tobaccowiki's expansive database of people involved with the tobacco industry. Many of the descriptions in the database are currently in fragmented sentences. For example, the description of Betsy Agle says "(EPA Indoor Air Branch employee)." We would rather it say "Betsy Agle was a U.S.


Flacks Posing as 'Citizen Journalists'

When the Tallahassee Democrat combed the community in early 2007 for residents whose blogs and articles could fill out the paper's local coverage, Stacey N. Getz was happy to sign on. "Getz's Let's Talk Tallahassee blog is a paean to civic boosterism, inviting readers to submit ideas to help business leaders and developers improve the city," writes Adam Weinstein.


Featured Participatory Project: Add to the Congresspedia Voting Record Resource Center

Wading through the thousands of votes that Congress performs each year can be an arduous task, but the CMD staff has created the Congresspedia Voting Record Resource Center to help you get to the bottom of what your senators and representative have been doing in Washington. There you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to add information on how they voted on topics like immigration, torture and children's healthcare to their "permanent record" - their Congresspedia profile.


Cool Citizen Journalism: User "Artificial Intelligence" Digs into Obama's Money Train

SourceWatch/Congresspedia user Artificial Intelligence has been doing a lot of fantastic work on the wiki lately, particularly on the 2008 presidential election. She recently picked up on a common practice in politics - the easiest way for politicians to show gratitude and allegiance to each other is for the big dogs to kick some campaign contributions down to the folks on the lower rungs. The fundraising juggernaut that is Obama 2008 has apparently had a lot of gratitude to show lately. She says:

A recent analysis conducted by PoliticalMoneyLine of 2008 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama's November 15, 2007, FEC filing revealed that Obama "has been the most aggressive of presidential candidates in using his leadership PAC to help the campaigns of state and local candidates, and not coincidentally, the funds spent that way have gone to Democrats in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. More than one-third of his leadership PAC money is being used this way."

Campaign reports show that in January 2007, when Obama launched his presidential campaign, Hopefund [Obama's PAC] fundraising all but stopped. Since June 2007 Obama has handed out more than $180,000. Additionally, FEC filings for late 2006 through October 2007 show that several recipients of Obama's Hopefund campaign contributions had also endorsed him within months of receiving funds.

Featured Participatory Project: Recording Your Senators' Votes on Immigration Reform (U.S.)

On Congresspedia we are continuing to profile important votes this year in Congress as a way of building the same kind of "permanent records" for members of Congress that school kids used to get threatened with. You can help keep Congress accountable by taking five minutes to add information on how your senators or representative voted to their Congresspedia profiles, thus ensuring that the tens of thousands of people who come to the site every day get a chance to know what it is that their elected officials are doing in Washington.


Featured Participatory Project: Record Whether Your Senator Voted to Confirm Bush's A.G. Pick

Michael Mukasey was confirmed as the Attorney General of the United States by the Senate last week in a contentious 53-40 vote. Mukasey's nomination gained controversy with Democrats as he largely endorsed the Bush administration's policies in the War on Terror and refused to say whether waterboarding violated anti-torture laws, though he said he found the procedure "repugnant."


New Participatory Project: Help Expand our List of Tobacco Company Projects and Operations

We need help finding out the names of more internal tobacco company projects and operations. To help with this, go to the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library and perform searches using phrases like "confidential project" and "confidential operation." "Operation Berkshire" and "



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