SourceWatch:For research and advocacy organizations

From OpenCongress Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

The SourceWatch wiki (of which Congresspedia is a part), with of 60,000 daily readers, is a great place for research and/or advocacy organizations to educate the public about their issues. SourceWatch is a non-profit, collaborative research and reporting project that is open to anyone to edit. (More about Congresspedia/SourceWatch...)

Why post on SourceWatch and Congresspedia?
It's open: Because the site is a wiki, anyone from your organization is welcome to come on the site and edit or create articles on pieces of legislation, issues or other organizations. It is also open to supporters and sympathizers of your organization to do their own reporting, which can supplement your research and give a substantive way for your members to be involved in an issue.
It's moderated: Because the site is a moderated wiki, we have staff and policies in place to ensure that your contributions are not vandalized or distorted by malicious users. However, because it's not your website, you're not responsible for what others add anyway.
It's easy: The site runs on the same software that Wikipedia and other popular wikis use. It is designed to be easy and fast, but we also have staff on hand to get you started and provide any technical or other support you may need along the way.

Contents

Help from SourceWatch/Congresspedia staff

SourceWatch/Congresspedia staff are available to help someone from your organization post on the wiki. We can help you start and maintain pages and offer support for any technical, stylistic or other questions you might have. Maintaining a basic set of pages on the site only requires a minimal investment of time and can often be done by a junior-level employee who can take reports written by researchers or organizers and adapt them for the site.

Bypass the press and engage directly with citizens

The tens of thousands of daily SourceWatch/Congresspedia readers are interested in the kind of wonky and relevant political information that can be hard to work into a press release. Most are looking for specific information on a topic (most readers come directly from search engine pages) but, thanks to the inter-linked nature of wikis, they often find themselves clicking through to related articles. Posting on the wiki allows your organization to directly interact with citizens and compliments a traditional media strategy. Thanks to the site's high placement in most search engines, creating an article here often generates a front-page search result and the ensuing traffic. And, because you can cite your fact sheets and reports as sources, readers looking for more information or wanting to take action can easily locate your own website as a resource.

Post information on legislation or other issues in the public debate

Congresspedia has articles on every member of Congress, every congressional committee, how Congress works, scandals and pieces of legislation. SourceWatch has a broader focus on the "people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda," with articles on PR firms, lobbying firms, topics in public discourse, PR campaigns and front groups. Your organization could add to any of these articles or create new ones on issues you work on. The staff can help you figure out the best places to post your information and then assist you in inter-linking it with other article in the wiki so that readers can find it while browsing the site.

Keep it honest, keep it sourced

Congresspedia hews to a policy of being "fair, accurate and non-partisan." This doesn't mean you have to go out of your way to post information that doesn't support your agenda, but it does mean the site's staff or users may come behind you and do just that. As long as all the information posted is factual, rhetoric-free and sourced, it is welcome.

Sourcing all assertions of fact is the bedrock of what keeps the site trusted and verifiable (read the policy). Any reader should be able to find the sources for all information in any article. This assists the staff and volunteer editors in fact-checking postings and evaluating sources – while you should feel free to cite your own organization's reports as sources, expect users to examine them for inaccuracies or other flaws. This additionally allows members of the press or other researchers to correctly attribute the original source.

Organizations and experts that have worked with Congresspedia

Policy experts from many organizations have edited Congresspedia articles related to their area of interest.

It is important to note that they are often only one of many people who have edited their respective articles and thus the articles are not "endorsed" by them or their organization. Additionally, some have contributed content as individuals who have areas of expertise rather than in their official capacity as representatives of their organizations.

Organization Person Username Article
AFL-CIO Tula Connell Tula Connell Employee Free Choice Act
Campaign Finance Institute Michael Malbin Michael Malbin Senate Campaign Disclosure Parity Act of 2007
Cato Jim Harper Jim H REAL ID Act of 2005
Center for Public Integrity's Well Connected project
Drew Clark Drew Clark The entire Portal:Telecom, Media and Intellectual Property Policy (U.S.)
Stokely Baksh StokelyB
Andrew MacRae Andrew MacRae
Brendan McGarry McGarryB17
Consumers Union Sally Greenberg Sally Greenberg National Uniformity for Food Act
Food & Water Watch Andrianna Natsoulas Anatsoulas Offshore fish farming legislation
Government Accountability Project Adam Miles Adam Miles Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2007
Heritage Foundation Robert Bluey Robert Bluey No Child Left Behind Act
OMB Watch Mollie Churchill Mollie Churchill Toxic Right-to-Know Protection Act, Sunset commissions
Project on Government Oversight Beth Daley Bethdaley U.S. federal oil and gas royalties
Sunlight Foundation Paul Blumenthal Paulblumenthal Congressional Actions Providing Body Armor to Troops, Prospects for Ethics Reform in the 110th Congress, Congress Reporting Information, Differences in Lobbying Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006, Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act of 2007, Congressional Offices and Staff, Expulsion and Censure, Personal Financial Disclosure
Taxpayers for Common Sense Demian Moore DmooreTCS Farm Bill Extension Act of 2007
Contact Congresspedia Managing Editor Conor Kenny at File:Conoremail.png if your organization is interested in posting on Congresspedia or SourceWatch.
Toolbox