Here’s a real way to honor the victims of 9/11, by holding the government accountable for their spending in the name of homeland security. Meet California Watch:
Today, newsrooms across the state are running the first project produced by California Watch, the largest investigative reporting team in the state.
The series of stories written by reporter G.W. Schulz focus on waste and mismanagement in the state’s homeland security grant programs. He had a lot to work with. Schulz, a staff member at the Center for Investigative Reporting, found scores of examples of waste, questionable expenditures and a lack of oversight.
California Watch and Schulz was able to help out several major newspapers around the state with local angles on the story. Even though we might get a nasty letter from them saying it, even the Sacramento Bee was able to take advantage of a non-profit’s investigative reporting:
Several newspapers asked us to add local examples. We couldn’t accommodate everyone. In some cases, we provided source documentation to help newsrooms find their own examples. In other cases, Schulz combed through his notes and documents to identify more cases of misspending. He then did some more reporting, enabling us to customize versions of the story for some of the stateâ€™s largest newspapers. We did this for the Orange County Register, the San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times, the Sacramento Bee, the Los Angeles Daily News, La Opinion and the Bakersfield Californian. In the end, we produced 14 versions of the same story.
We’re really beginning to be fans of non-profit news.
Where’s our checkbook…