Recognizing the future of journalism

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The Franklin Center is committed not just to providing the hard-hitting investigative journalism of today, but investing in the watchdogs of tomorrow. This year we’ve taken a huge step toward fulfilling that mission by hosting our inaugural Journalism Internship Program, a full-time, paid internship program for college students and young professionals pursuing a career in investigative journalism. 

The program is designed to help raise up a generation of journalists who are committed to holding government accountable on every side, at every level. Though unassuming on the surface, program interns have had opportunities to make a difference in the communities where they’ve worked. It’s clear that they have taken the spirit of investigative journalism to heart – they aren’t just reporting the news, they’re making it.

Meet the Franklin Center’s Inaugural Class of Journalism Interns

Written by Elizabeth Green, Development Intern

Elena Novak

elena novak“I’m a firm believer in journalistic integrity and freedom of the press; as journalists, we have a responsibility to report the facts as we see them, even if they are difficult to digest.  I learned the importance of this while writing for Florida State’s newspaper: the FSView. Through my year with them I developed a love for journalism; I love the research and discovery, I love going out and asking hard questions and developing relationships, I love the energy that goes into writing and synthesis. I agree with the Franklin Center’s mission to foster conversation surrounding transparency and accountability.”

Elena graduated from Florida State University in May with a degree in creative writing and is excited to begin her career in journalism at the Raleigh News & Observer in North Carolina. Investigative journalism appealed to her after interning with the Village Square, a nonprofit that encourages civil discourse. She loves how journalism requires the reporter to mentally inhabit both sides of an issue, understanding the opposition and wrestling with the contradictions. Elena appreciates the Franklin Center’s pursuit of journalistic integrity. This summer, she’s enjoyed getting involved in the Raleigh community and learning how the city ticks in order to better report about local issues. In her time off, Elena enjoys taking part in Raleigh’s summer concert scene.

Celina Durgin

celina durgin“I am participating in the Franklin Center internship program in order to hone my journalism skills on-the-job and through relevant studies. The opportunity for a paid internship with a program whose values I share was too good to ignore. The Franklin Center’s goal of government accountability is one of my own goals for the work I do throughout my life.”

Celina studies politics, philosophy, and economics at King’s College in New York City. She’s been interested in reporting since attending journalism camp at the age of fourteen and is excited to develop the new skills involved with writing for National Review this summer. She enjoys the hard fact-finding involved in writing thorough, careful stories. Celina hopes to bring an analytical perspective and an ability to piece together facts to get to the heart of tricky issues. She loves that journalism puts the reporter directly in contact with real issues to affect positive change. On her free days in New York City this summer, she can be found in Central Park reading one of her favorite authors: George Orwell, Aristotle, or C.S. Lewis.

Erin Mundahl

erin mudahl“Since high school, and even before, I have been what is generally considered a “news junkie.” Because of my interest I have spent untold hours reading news and commentary, attempting to understand the greater context of events. It is this sense of context which allows for a deeper understanding of each event taken in isolation.

As a participant in the Franklin Center Journalism Internship Program, I hope to gain writing experience and to pursue avenues wherein I can publish some commentary of my own. I seek a means to integrate reporting and analysis in a fashion which is at once engaging, reasonable and approachable.”

Erin graduated from Hillsdale College with a degree in both English and French. This summer Erin is working at Red Alert Politics, assisting in their mission to translate news content into pithy and amusing pieces, understandable and approachable to citizens. Although she did not plan in college on going into a career in journalism, she’s excited to learn more about the craft. As a lifelong news junkie, she looks forward to being on the other end of the news, learning how to convey politics to diverse audiences. Erin loves reading everything and enjoys producing approachable content on blogs or YouTube. This summer, she’s enjoyed taking part in the cultural experiences that Washington, D.C. has to offer.

Clare Myers

clare myers“I’m participating in the Franklin Center Journalism Internship Program because I want to sharpen my skills as an investigative reporter. I believe journalists play a vital role in society by keeping the public informed, and in this sense, much of what goes on in our nation depends on our journalists. As a journalist, it’s my responsibility to others to be the best I can be.”

Clare has traveled from the University of Dallas, where she is studying history, journalism, and Spanish, to her summer internship at the News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is excited to be pursuing fair and impartial journalism with the Franklin Center. Clare enjoyed growing her skills as a writer and learning how to report events in a community rather than on a college campus. She loves that journalism gives the reporter a personal connection to the people she meets, and she could not wait to get to know the people of Raleigh and tell their stories. Because stories bring people together, Clare believes the media is responsible to tell those stories accurately. During her summer in Raleigh, she’s most enjoyed attending her first pig roast.

Josh Evans

josh evans“I’m participating in the Franklin Center’s journalism program in order to further refine my skills as a journalist in a real-world environment. I hope to improve my journalistic abilities, as well as develop new connections and friendships within the industry.”

Josh studies political science at Grove City College, and he grew to love reporting in high school after taking a journalism elective on a whim. He wrote for his student paper in college, and this summer he works for the Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. Josh’s biggest journalism interest is in tech reporting, and he hopes to bring his ability to learn quickly to the ever-changing world of technology. Through his internship, he hopes to develop the ability to work in a less-supervised environment, growing in his ability to pitch stories, especially in a big city and not a small college campus. After a long career of journalism, Josh hopes to become an advisor to a high school newspaper and teach students about investigative journalism. This summer, he’s enjoyed walking on the National Mall and spending time in his favorite bookshop in DuPont Circle.

Shalva Ginsparg

shalva gigsparg“I admire the ideals which Franklin Center embodies of creating a more vibrant democratic society based on accountability and transparency. As a writer who aims to use the written word to effect positive change, I am so grateful for the opportunity to participate in the 2014 Franklin Center Journalism Internship program this summer.”

Shalva is working with Red Alert Politics in Washington, D.C. this summer. She does a lot of reading and writing in order to produce pitched and assigned website content for Red Alert. She will be a senior at Stern College for Women in Manhattan, where she studies English Literature and Judaic Studies. Shalva serves as editor for her school newspaper, and she can’t remember a time in the past year when she hasn’t been working on a story. She hopes to hone her journalism skills and believes that Franklin’s mission to empower citizens and make government transparent should be the mission of every journalist. She’s very interested in the issues she’s reporting on and feels that she can bring a well-informed perspective to journalism. She already sees improvement in her adoption of social media tools into her journalism style. During her summer in D.C., she’s enjoyed exploring the Smithsonian museums and re-reading her favorite author Edith Wharton.

Kaitlan Collins

kaitlan collins“I am participating in the Franklin Center’s internship program because I believe in the legacy the Franklin Center seeks to continue to leave behind—that of empowering voters with clear, objective information. I am grateful to be a vessel in the process that legacy entails.”

Kaitlan, a recent graduate of the University of Alabama, interns at the Daily Caller in Washington, D.C. She started out studying chemistry and transitioned to journalism and political science due to her love of reading and writing. She loves that the journalism internship application for Franklin required discussions on free markets, inspirational books, and other stimulating topics. Kaitlan loves to take potentially dull topics and turn them into appealing stories. She looks forward to producing stories in the real world, as opposed to a college campus, and is excited about improving the quality of her work. Kaitlan hopes to remain in D.C. and do journalism after her internship ends.

Katherine Tobar

katherine tobar“I decided to participate in the Franklin Center Summer Journalism Internship Program because I want to gain experience and knowledge in the field and be prepared to pursue a professional career as a journalist.”

Katherine joins our team of interns from Quito, Ecuador, where she is earning a joint degree in Media & Writing Communication and Multimedia Journalism from Juniata College and Universidad San Francisco de Quito. Through the Franklin Center Internship, she works at Illinois Policy Institute in their journalism division. She loves political journalism and has greatly enjoyed learning more about American politics. Kate appreciates the objectivity emphasized by the Franklin Center journalism model and has enjoyed the online course component of the internship program. She hopes to travel for a while but eventually return to Ecuador, bringing her skills of investigation and persistence to political journalism there. While interning this summer, she has also enjoyed living in Chicago and getting to ride a ferry boat on Lake Michigan.

Franklin Center Statement on Steven Sotloff

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

September 2, 2014
Contact: Michael Moroney 571-385-0774

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Photo Credit: Daily Caller

Alexandria, VA — Today, Jason Stverak, president of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity released the following statement on Steven Sotloff:

“Today, we’re reminded anew that those who work tirelessly to bring us the news from devastated war-zones are true heroes. A year after Steven Sotloff was kidnapped by the militant group Islamic State while reporting in Syria, he was executed for his commitment to the truth in a land that so desperately needs it.

“It takes unspeakable courage to come face to face with evil with little more than a notepad in hand, undeterred and resolved to tell the story any cost. Steven put his life on the line so that the world could see the horrors of oppression and the suffering of the voiceless, and we honor his sacrifice.”

The Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity is a leader in non-profit journalism. It 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 and assistance with a mission of exposing waste, fraud, and abuse in government.


Protected: Why Good Talent Is Hard to Find

Monday, August 25th, 2014

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North Dakota State Employee Accused of Misusing Public Funds

Friday, August 15th, 2014

Ben Yount Speaking on the Illinois Governor’s Race

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Director of Marketing and Outreach

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

The Franklin Center is a fast-paced, fluid organization that employs a staff of investigative and political reporters across the country, trains and empowers citizen journalists, and supports a network of bloggers. We seek a highly motivated individual to join our Outreach/Marketing Team.

The Director of Marketing and Outreach will oversee Franklin’s external marketing and outreach, but the role itself will be very internally focused. The Director will concentrate on managing people and projects, as well as maximizing the effectiveness of Franklin’s marketing and outreach efforts. While a background in marketing or outreach is preferred, our highest priority is finding someone who is a strong manager/mentor who will embrace Franklin’s unique culture and help us achieve desired outcomes.

The Director of Marketing and Outreach will be based in Franklin’s Alexandria, Virginia office, and report to the Senior Vice President. APPLY HERE

Responsibilities and Tasks Include:

  • Developing and implementing a marketing and outreach strategy
  • Serving as day to day manager of personnel and projects focused on marketing Franklin’s content and work to the broader world
  • Oversight of departmental budget
  • Development of print, digital and other collateral promotional products
  • Managing special projects, including seminars and events
  • Ensuring the integration of marketing functions/outreach functions with other groups and departments within the organization to enhance our external communication abilities
  • Oversight of Social Media


  • 5-7+ years of experience in communications, marketing, outreach, or fundraising preferred
  • Strong people management skills; passion for cultivating, empowering, and professionally developing lower level staff
  • Successful track record of problem solving; confronting issues head-on and addressing them
  • Self-motivated; outcome-oriented
  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, turn ideas into action, and drive projects to completion
  • Big picture mentality; ability to see how all the moving parts of an operation fit together
  • Superior organization and focus on detail
  • Solid administrative skill set
  • Strong written & verbal communication skills
  • Budgeting experience
  • Knowledge of business to business marketing, email marketing, and social media
  • Understanding of the importance of marketing and outreach to the success of an organization such as ours
  • Knowledge of the free-market nonprofit movement a plus

To apply, click here. (note: applicants will only be considered through Talent Market)

Josh Kaib, Assistant Editor of Watchdog Wire

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Josh KaibHailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Josh Kaib joined the Citizen Watchdog team in September 2012. He developed an interest in politics and government at an early age, leading him to the swamp of Washington, DC where he currently studies communications and marketing. Prior to interning for Watchdog Wire, Josh interned for a congressional campaign and worked for a political consultant.

Pat McGuigan Discusses Native American Land Infringement

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Protected: Proof That More Reporters Are Becoming Less in Love With Obama

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

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Watchdog Wire Texas Editor – Paid Position

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Do you love writing? Are you passionate about working with grassroots activists and making a difference in Texas? Would you like to help the Watchdog Wire team recruit and mentor new citizen journalists in the Lone Star State–all while working from home?

If you answered yes, you should consider applying to be a State Editor for Watchdog Wire Texas. This is a part-time, paid position, perfect for anyone who is highly motivated, willing to work a couple of hours each day, and looking to make money for doing something they enjoy!

Here’s how the job works:

  • The editor is responsible for populating Watchdog Wire Texas with content, from citizen contributors and credible blogs and news sources. These stories should be relevant to citizens throughout Texas and within the scope of Watchdog Wire’s mission.
  • The editor will review, edit, and publish contributions from citizen contributors, ensure that all material follows the Watchdog Wire Style Guide and policy guidelines, reach out to contributors who need coaching, and contribute at least 1-2 stories of his or her own each week.
  • The editor will also be responsible for communicating with contributors on a regular basis with story ideas and other information.

Applicants should have strong copy-editing and writing skills, a proficiency in sound journalism and media practices, as well as a keen sense of newsworthiness. Strong interpersonal and communication skills are needed to effectively recruit local bloggers as contributors to Watchdog Wire and mentor contributors with their writing.

It is preferred that the editor is native to Texas or has strong personal and professional connections to the region. Applicants should have a knowledge and passion for the economic and policy issues affecting the state. Editors will be temporarily contracted to dedicate 1.5-2 hours a day to this role and will receive a stipend for their efforts on a month-to-month contract basis.

Watchdog Wire will also consider a co-editor partnership with two individuals who would like to work together in this pursuit.

If interested, please send your resume and writing samples to Jackie.Moreau@franklincenterhq.org.