Got questions? Below are answers to questions I’m frequently asked by members of our ProPublica Reporting Network who are participating in our first initiative: Adopt a Stimulus Project. Don’t find what you need? Email me at Amanda AT propublica.org.
Question: I want to be part of the Reporting Network. What can I do? How can I be of help?
Right now our focus is on the stimulus. Our first initiative is Adopt a Stimulus Project, which asks people to monitor a local road or bridge construction project funded by the stimulus. We’re asking you to do two things: first, to help us find out specific information about your project and second, to pass on any developments you think should be monitored. What exactly are we talking about? Well, for starters you would identify the project’s start date and call your state Department of Transportation (DOT) to find out exactly what the project entails. Later you’ll note the names of companies working on the project and, if possible, inquire about the subcontractors hired by those companies.
I’m happy to announce that we now have a blog for the more than 1000 members of our ProPublica Reporting Network, an initiative we launched just a little more than a month ago.
The blog is intended as workspace for the Reporting Network, which organizes readers and guides them to “commit acts of journalism,” as it’s put by Marc Cooper, my former colleague from our days running the citizen journalism site OffTheBus. First up? The Reporting Network is setting its sights on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the stimulus. It’s a whopping $787 billion bill, one of the largest spending bills in U.S. history. Our first undertaking is the Adopt a Stimulus Project. The premise is simple—by building a network of monitors we can track progress made across the country. All you need to do is commit to watchdogging a local bridge or road construction effort.