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Power Trips: Exposes Legislators’ Travel Freebies

Public radio’s Marketplace, American RadioWorks series called Power Trips is journalism at its best. In great detail it showcases which of our federal elected legislators are taking the most and least travel freebies from all sorts of organizations.

The winner for my state Georgia is Senator Saxby Chambliss. On one seven-day free trip to Italy he spent more than $2,800 on food. That’s $400 a day! Last time I looked the per diem for a state employee in Georgia for food was about $36.

What makes the series so great is you can go online and see how much each congressman and senator from your state has taken in these free travel freebies and who is paying the freight.

Want the public to see the worth of journalism? Do more of these kinds of stories. Plus it was innovative in that it used graduate students from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism to make the story possible.

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