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Gannett News uses OC's new health care widget

March 19, 2010 - by David Moore

OpenCongress is very pleased to announce that the Gannett News company is using one of our brand-new free widgets on their page for Health Care Reform. You can check out their Topic page here, and grab the free health care widget for yourself here — see links to the key bills in the mix, what people across the U.S. are saying about them, and even customize the widget for all 50 states.

We’re grateful to be partnering with Gannett and their online team at Lingospot/ContentOne to build public knowledge about what’s really happening in Congress. It’s greatly encouraging that this major news media company, on their informative Topic page, is actively adopting free and open-source tools from OpenCongress — built by us at the non-profit Participatory Politics Foundation, with an introduction made to the friendly Gannett team by our dedicated colleagues at the non-profit Sunlight Foundation. We like to say that OpenCongress has a mass target audience of web users, with thousands of different entry points of issues they’re following in the U.S. Congress, but certainly some of those we first aim to support are journalists & political bloggers. (Check out :: How To Use OpenCongress.) Empirical understanding of key legislation, published accessibly on the open Web, is more important than ever in the utterly bonkers contemporary political discourse.

Readers of Gannett news properties (e.g., USA Today) and its reporters are invited to take full advantage of all the free and open-source Resources we offer, facilitating peer-to-peer communication about hot bills and issues like health care reform. Pick them up and run with them, it’s all non-commercial and non-partisan — we’re interested in making it ever easier for people to answer the basic questions, “What’s the latest with those health care bills, and what are people saying about them?” All the exciting government transparency tools and watchdog services out there — Sunlight, LittleSis, MAPLight, OpenSecrets, OC core data provider GovTrack, and beaucoup more — are chipping away at the unnecessary walls of elitism and unaccountability that have long prevailed in the formation of our nation’s public policy.

See the widget in action below, put it up yourself today (it’s pretty simply, just copy-and-paste the HTML into your blog or webpage) to keep your community up-to-date on the latest with health care reform, and follow us on Twitter. This is just the first of a nice suite of issue-area widgets we’ll release in the months to come — comprehensive financial reform, catastrophic climate change, and a few others forthcoming, all open-source for you to use & remix — let us know what you think: writeus at opencongress d0t org.

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