Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Photo of Bill Moyers Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Bill Moyers Journal
Watch & Listen The Blog Archive Transcripts Buy DVDs
Tracking Bailout Dollars
The New White House Web Site
Comment
February 13, 2009

Political analysts expect that Congress could pass a $789 billion stimulus bill by the end of the week. The package, forcefully advocated for by the Obama administration, will be the largest such fiscal intervention since the Great Depression.

The massive spending bill — a combination of government spending across the nation and tax cuts — presents a problem for citizens and watchdog groups. How can they track the thousands of individual projects and hold the government accountable?

Tracking the Bailout
Three public interest journalism organizations have teamed up to track the progress of the bailout, and they're asking Americans across the nation to help.

The internet-based project, dubbed "Shovel Watch", is a joint project of WNYC, a New York City public radio affiliate; ProPublica, a non-profit investigative journalism organization; and THE TAKEAWAY, a morning show distributed by Public Radio International.

They're calling on citizen journalists to sift through the stimulus bill and help them report on its content. Then, if Obama signs it into law next week as expected, they'll be asking people to keep an eye out in their local communities. Are the projects indeed starting? Are shovels in the ground?

Reporters will be watching "Shovel Watch" closely as a new model of web-based journalism. In a recent live chat Bill Moyers conducted on the PBS Engage site, he mentioned that, as the economics of the Internet threaten the existence of daily newspapers, it may fall to public media and non-profit organizations like ProPublica to fill in the gap left by the demise of local for-profit papers.

Published February 13, 2009.

References and Reading:
"Details Emerge of a Trimmer Stimulus "
By David M. Herszenhorn and Carl Hulse, NEW YORK TIMES, February 12, 2009.

Shovel Watch
ShovelWatch is a joint project of the non-profit investigative outfit ProPublica, the morning news program The Takeaway and WNYC, New York's flagship public radio station.

WNYC
New York City's flagship public radio station.

"Details Emerge of a Trimmer Stimulus "
"ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest."

THE TAKEAWAY
"The Takeaway is the new national morning news program that delivers the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. "

Published February 13, 2009.

Also This Week:

ECONOMIST SIMON JOHNSON
Former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), MIT Sloan School of Management professor and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Simon Johnson examines President Obama's plan for economic recovery.

FOLLOWING THE MONEY
Online tools for tracking stimulus plan dollars.

NIKKI GIOVANNI
Bill Moyers sits down with renowned poet Nikki Giovanni, whose 27 books have spanned the themes of race, politics, sex and violence.

> Moyers on Poetry: Selections from the archive

PHOTO ESSAY: NIKKI GIOVANNI
View a photo essay of words and images from Nikki Giovanni's eventful life.

TALK BACK: THE MOYERS BLOG
Our posts and your comments
OUR POSTS
YOUR COMMENTS
For Educators    About the Series    Bill Moyers on PBS   

© Public Affairs Television 2008    Privacy Policy    DVD/VHS    Terms of Use    FAQ   
SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES AND PODCASTS EMAIL US