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With so few state newspapers and focusing on investigative reporting, a fog now exists. The public is served by in-depth reporting on state issues, such as spending, state policies, laws, and procedures.
West Virginia Watchdog was created as place where the public can go for original, thorough reporting on the statehouse. This is done through weekly print articles, video reports, blogs, and podcasts. West Virginia Watchdog also links to articles from other newspapers and media outlets that shine a light on government, both local and state.
West Virginia Watchdog is a project of The Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia and the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
In West Virginia, the public dialogue is replete with ideas and proposals on the manner in which the State should address such ongoing issues as the economy, education, tax reform and health care. Unfortunately, most of these ideas and proposals are rooted in the mindset that an expansion of government can and should provide the only solution to these challenges.
Historically, West Virginia has taken an ad hoc, cursory approach to public policy. Often, State government enacts untested and unpredictable proposals that lack a strong connection with the time-tested values and principles that have proven their ability to advance commonly-held economic and societal goal
In most states, independent policy organizations committed to individual liberty, the free market and the proper role of government have assumed this responsibility by providing high-quality analysis and evaluation of the assortment of proposals that policymakers advocate. Furthermore, these various foundations, institutes and policy centers have made invaluable contributions to the development and implementation of their own sound, principle-based public policy initiatives.
The Public Policy Foundation of West Virginia has been organized to undertake these responsibilities in West Virginia. The organization is governed by an independent Board of Trustees and is a nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization. The Foundation relies solely on voluntary support from individuals, private foundations and businesses, and as such neither accepts government funding nor conducts contract research.
The mission of the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity is to promote social welfare and civil betterment by undertaking programs that promote journalism and the education of the public about corruption, incompetence, fraud, or taxpayer abuse by elected officials at all levels of government. The Franklin Center will accomplish these goals by networking and training independent investigative reporters, as well as journalists from state based news organizations, public-policy institutions & watchdog groups.
At the heart of the Franklin Center’s mission is a belief that new technology can advance the cause of transparency in government. This can only be accomplished, however, if the journalists of tomorrow can effectively master this new media. The Franklin Center aims to educate, to advise and to train individuals and organizations from all backgrounds to become thorough, unbiased and accurate reporters well versed in new media techniques and journalistic integrity.