in Houston, Texas
Why now?
Friday, Mar 27, 2009, 04:08PM CST
By Jennifer Peebles
Texas Watchdog seeks to be on the leading edge of a national trend toward investigative and enterprise journalism taking place on the Web and outside the traditional newsroom.

We’re launching this service because the owners of newspapers and television news teams have, in too many cases, cut back on investigating government and chipped away at their ability to be a watchdog for the voter and the taxpayer.

Experts may disagree about the many reasons for this, but they agree that newspapers are on the decline nationwide. In 2007, newspaper newsroom staffs fell by 2,400 –- the largest drop in 30 years. And this does not include hundreds more newsroom buyouts and layoffs already imposed in 2008. Dozens of major newspapers have announced staff cuts, including the elimination of long-time investigative reporters and experienced writers.

Furthermore, some studies indicate that reporters who are launching journalism careers don’t have the training they would desire to be watchdogs and to do the digging that is needed for enterprise reporting. Editors say that many journalism school graduates are ill-prepared for the job, and the vast majority of recent graduates –- 82 percent of young journalists in one recent study –- said they needed more training “very much."

We hope to be a resource for reporters seeking those skills, as well as for bloggers who seek to learn more about digging up their own original content. We also want to be a place where residents can learn more about how to make their city halls and school systems more transparent –- and to keep public officials honest. We hope to launch a more fully featured Web site soon.
Video
KTRK: On Big Screens for Billionaires, Comptroller Susan Combs Silent
Related Blogs and Media
President Bartlett on Sentencing Reform
Update:4 hours 57 min
Houston's Clear Thinkers
Perry offered to restore vetoed funds if Travis DA quit, sources say Even after Gov. Rick Perry stripped funding for the office that prosecutes state public corruption cases, his emissaries worked to swap the...
Update:6 hours 22 min
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Koch Company and Labor Unions: One Degree of Separation Strange brew cooked up on K Street: Charles, David and organized labor. Russ Choma ...
Update:10 hours 49 min
Open Secrets
Harris County DA, HPD Homicide scandal widens Don Hooper Chronicle Reporter James Pinkerton continues to kill it. His latest Easter Sunday article includes information from the recently...
Update:11 hours 26 min
Big Jolly Politics
Critics of UT’s Powers donated to two Transparency committee members AUSTIN — Two members of the Texas House’s select committee investigating the activities of University of Texas regent Wallace Hall...
Update:14 hours 9 min
San Antonio Express-News
Taking a Shine to a Raintree Place Contemporary Layers of lacquer lend some extra shimmer to the glossed interior of a 1978 contemporary home located in Raintree Place. The gated...
Update:16 hours 18 sec
Swamplot
Radio news questions Perry PREA stance in light of consultant report On Texas Public Radio, LBJ School instructor Michele Deitch and TDCJ guard union president Lance Lowry were interviewed yesterday on the...
Update:16 hours 5 min
Grits for Breakfast
Many Candidates -- Political Opposites Included -- Share Common Donors A scant few Americans give money to political campaigns -- but those few often give to many. Andrew...
Update:16 hours 27 min
Open Secrets
Report: 'Deadly Heat in Texas Prisons' A new report (pdf) titled "Deadly Heat in Texas Prison" from the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law argues that,...
Update:16 hours 47 min
Grits for Breakfast
Houston Home Listing Photo of the Day: The Crystal Palace 330 Hunters Trail St. [HAR] … Read...
Update:17 hours 59 min
Swamplot
Tweets
Karen Townsend | 1 year 7 months
"Patrick F. Kennedy is a career foreign service officer" - http://t.co/GOrCe0IS
Peter Corbett ✈ | 1 year 7 months
I'm at McCarran International Airport (LAS) w/ @almacy http://t.co/KvmId07i
KERA Public Media | 1 year 7 months
TONIGHT at 7pm on KERA TV: Presidential Debate: Learn more at PBS NewsHour. http://t.co/Z9kYdun8
PBS MediaShift | 1 year 7 months
Tech Snafus Make Bill O'Reilly/Jon Stewart 'Rumble' More of a Stumble http://t.co/4OfeBlrG (@kegill | @pbsmediashift) #rumble2012
Will Sullivan | 1 year 7 months
Great addition, been burned too much by bad subs. "Google Play Announces Free Trials For In-App Subscription Services" http://t.co/TOLgRVak
TxDOT | 1 year 7 months
I-35W/North Tarrant Express #constantcontact http://t.co/QDzrQumu
keyetv | 1 year 7 months
Serial shotgun robbers suspects arrested. http://t.co/ka8T4U9B
Karen Townsend | 1 year 7 months
Aren't State Dept career people suppose to be non-partisan? Not the political appointees, the career people. #Libya
© 2014 TEXAS WATCHDOG and USELABS. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use and Privacy Statement