Capitol Hill dominated the news this past week, as Congress continued to move towards sending a bill to President Bush’s desk calling for an end to the controversial Iraq War. For a thorough look at congressional action on this issue and several others debated and considered since Monday, we again turn to Robert McElroy’s TheWeekInCongress.
UPDATE: PRWatch and WeeklySpin readers have posted the contact information for all the new members from Texas, Virginia and New Hampshire. Help us finish the rest!
The Congresspedia project on SourceWatch has been receiving a lot of great edits lately by students, wonks and people who are simply interested in policy and politics (and have a modem). As the "managing editors" of the site, we keep an eye on the edits made to articles to do fact checking, help citizen editors and watch for vandalism. One editor, Lczikowsky, caught our eye by systematically expanding the page on minimum wage legislation to include state-level legislative proposals in 30 states, resulting in an in-depth article that's a great resource for anyone researching the minimum wage. Here's Lczikowsky to discuss his contributions in more detail:
One of the key pieces of information on Congresspedia's member of Congress articles is the contact information for the member's district and Washington offices. This helps constituents know exactly where they can go to voice their opinions, deliver petitions or send letters. Congresspedia has all the phone numbers and addresses for the incumbents, but we need to update the pages of the freshman members, which now only list campaign offices.
"We sense the news business entering a new phase heading into 2007 -- a phase of more limited ambition," the Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ) writes in the overview to its "State of the News Media 2007" report. News organizations are "starting to redefine their appeal and their purpose based on diminished capacity.
Under the old, "broadcast" model of journalism and academia, undergraduate students were generally limited to consuming the scholarship of others while their own research and writing was largely confined to practice exercises. Now Congresspedia is engaging students in the new, participatory model of media and society by publishing their writing on the wiki rather than having it collect dust in a file drawer somewhere. As part of this project (our Student Editor Program), I met last week with the students of Prof. Phil Tajitsu Nash's Asian Pacific Americans and American Public Policy class at the University of Maryland. Prof. Nash's students are engaged in a fascinating research project on the movement for redress for Japanese Latin Americans who were put in internment camps during World War II. Despite enduring similar conditions to US-based Japanese Americans, they were exempted from the redress bill President Reagan signed in the 1980s.