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Introducing a Blog for the ProPublica Reporting Network

 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.

Here we'll report our findings and discuss our work. We'll also link to resources we develop, and incorporate reporting and community tools. Occasionally I'll profile collaborative reporting projects run by other news organizations or bloggers, like NPR's "Health Care Lobbyists on the Hill." Like the rest of ProPublica's work, everything you find on here is licensed through Creative Commons. That means you can republish anything and everything, as long as you properly cite us.

Not everything will get discussed in real time. This is a collaborative investigative reporting project. Our larger goal is to hold power accountable -- making sure that those entrusted with public office and responsibility do not abuse public trust. If disclosing information or ideas jeopardizes the integrity of our investigation, we'll keep quiet.

Now, if you're one of the more than 200 people who have adopted a local stimulus project, I've got updates... Stay tuned for blog posts reviewing the results thus far.

You can reach me at amanda AT propublica.org.

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