Skip to primary content


Nieman’s Press Watchdog Site Is Public Journalism

Earlier this week the Nieman Foundation launched what it calls its Nieman Watchdog website developing “Questions the press should ask.”

Sounds like public journalism to us. Here is one paragraph from its introduction:

The premise of watchdog journalism is that the press is a surrogate for the public, asking probing, penetrating questions at every level, from the town council to the state house to the White House, as well as in corporate and professional offices, in union halls, on university campuses and in religious organizations that seek to influence governmental actions.

The goal of watchdog journalism is to see that people in power provide information the public should have.

We’ll have to watch how elitist this might become because the introduction says:

Independent experts are often eager to help journalists identify what is important, what can illuminate and expand a story. will give journalists access to such experts at Harvard, the home of the Nieman Foundation, and at other campuses across the country. will also seek out the expertise of authorities in the professions, activist groups, politics, commerce and government – perceptive thinkers who are experienced in and care about public affairs.

However, they do have someone watching the blogs:
Dan Froomkin keeps an eye on the Internet for watchdog-related items.

Here are some questions the watchdog’s Ask This section thinks journalists should be asking:

As tuition costs soar, a college education is beyond the means of many, one would think. Where are the news stories?

Abu Ghraib aside; where is the reporting on U.S. prisons?

What’s the progress with ‘leave no child behind?

Is it time to re-institute the military draft?

What is the fair and equitable public policy response to growing demands among citizens in the states for reforms that would restore voting rights to ex-offenders who have fully paid their debt to society?

Got a question? Go here.

Comments are closed.