Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity was founded in 2009 to address falling standards in the media as well as a steep falloff in reporting on state government and provides professional training; research, editorial, multimedia and technical support; and assistance with marketing and promoting the work of a nationwide network of nonprofit reporters. Supplementing these efforts is our newly launched Citizen Watchdog program that trains ordinary citizens to report from local communities.
Specializing in state and local government, Franklin Center has focused its efforts on reaching maximum penetration within small and mid-sized media markets – on driving a conversation about transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility at the grassroots level and putting a human face on public policy. We specialize in reaching a layman’s audience through local media, coordinating our nationwide network to ensure that we are hitting this audience in every state.
Franklin Center was founded in 2009 to help fill the void created as the nation’s newspapers cut back on their statehouse news coverage and investigative reporting in the wake of falling circulation and revenues. Our goal is provide fresh, original, hard-hitting news content that is published on our own Web sites and in traditional media sources. All publications have a mission and a voice. We are unabashed in ours: to spotlight waste, fraud and misuse of taxpayer dollars by state and local governments. We conform to the Society of Professional Journalists standards, follow AP style and are not partisan or political, but we always ask these questions when reporting on events: What does this mean for taxpayers? Will it advance or restrict individual freedom? We look at the bigger picture, provide analysis that’s often missing from modern news stories, and do more than provide “he-said, she-said” reports from the state Capitol. Our journalists look for the back story and offer much-needed perspective on the day’s news.
We’re leaders in the new wave of non-profit journalism. We have reporters, news sites, investigative journalists and affiliates across the country — and we’re growing. In addition to our nationwide team of professional journalists, we are expanding our reach into citizen journalism. We provide training to these citizen watchdogs so that they can better employ journalistic standards as they keep their local governments accountable through their blogs and Web sites. While distinct from our journalism efforts, this new wave of information activism will help fulfill Franklin’s vision of creating a more vibrant democratic society based on accountability and open government.
Our news reporters can be found in Capitols around the nation explaining what the latest budget and regulatory bills mean to the citizens of their states. They look at pension liabilities and debt loads and other nuts-and-bolts issues that help readers keep an eye on their government. Our investigative reporters dig deeply into state bureaucracies and watch how they spend public dollars. They use freedom of information laws to gain documents and explain how legislation is made and the legislative process works. We primarily do news reporting, but also provide separate Commentary on the news.
With its professional news reporters, investigative journalists, seasoned editors and citizen journalists, Franklin is committed to keeping the public informed about how their government operates — so they can better fulfill their role in a self-governing society. American citizens own their government. We make sure they remain informed about it.
By VP of Journalism, Steven Greenhut