Jan 6, 2010

Another nonprofit watching California

In September, the Center for Investigative Journalism unveiled California Watch, a nonprofit investigative journalism unit, with the stated mission of exposing "injustice, waste, mismanagement, wrongdoing, questionable practices, and corruption" in California.

The Pacific Policy Institute today launched it's own version of the nonprofit investigative team called CalWatchdog. The Pacific Research Institute is a think tank with strong libertarian-leanings. The group promotes smaller government and free-market ideology and is associated with such think tanks the Cato Institute. But the nonprofit, investigative arm promises to follow traditional media standards:
CalWatchdog’s mission is to uncover governmental waste and shine the light on the misuse of taxpayer dollars. As part of a new wave of nonprofit, Web-based journalism, CalWatchdog adheres to traditional journalistic standards and focuses on improving government transparency.
The featured investigation on the site concerns the state water policy and was written by Wayne Lusvardi, a vocal libertarian and former MWD employee from Pasadena who's made his opinions known about state water policy known.

CalWatchdog's board of advisers includes former LA CityBeat publisher Will Swaim, former Republican analyst and now head of USC's Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics Dan Schnur, Chapman University professor Tibor Machan, conservative columnist Deroy Murdock, and Cathy Taylor, editorial director for the Orange County Register.

The more eyes on government, the better. But the genesis of this investigative unit does point up the increasingly blurry line between traditional newsrooms and ones born of ideological agendas. As we saw in the row over the Washington Post's partnership with The Fiscal Times, the blurred line can expose traditional media sources to charges of partisan favor. Nonprofit does not necessarily mean non-ideological.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Gary. I enjoyed your post. Just wanted to point out that I'm still Editorial Director at The Orange County Register.
Cathy Taylor

Gary Scott said...

Apologies. I've corrected the post to reflect your current position.

The Pasadena Pundit said...

Thanks for the coverage. For clarification purposes, for some time I have NOT been affiliated with the Libertarian Party. To be more specific, local Libertarian Party officials made it clear they did not want my participation in their party.

Question: CaliforniaWatch is NOT ideological?

Best regards,
Wayne Lusvardi
Pasadena, California

The Pasadena Pundit said...

I should have added for the public record. I am a 30-year veteran of government employment having worked for the LA County Dept. of Public Social Services, the LA County Housing Authority and Community Development Commission and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. I formerly developed affordable housing and was a court social worker for abused and neglected children. I am a union member (SEIU). I have a Master's degree in Social Work from USC with a concentration in administration and community organization. Yup, I was trained to be a community organizer the same as President Barack Obama. I also hold degrees in sociology. Presently, I am a political independent and move my political party affiliation around from party to party so I can vote strategically in primary elections. My family background is Catholic and Democratic Party. I am a Vietnam War vet and was a Medic-Psych Tech in the 25th Infantry Division. Now can you guess what my "ideology" is?