Transparency Watch

A look at how journalists are handling the shutdown

Journalists have been searching for alternative resources after the government shutdown caused many online databases to go down and government offices to close as employees went on furlough.  For more information about how the shutdown is affecting news coverage, see the stories below.  

For information on closed FOIA offices:
Both the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and MuckRock are keeping lists of closed FOIA offices.  The FOIA blog is posting regular updates related to any effects of the government shutdown.

How journalists are working around the problem...for now:
Many are using alternative sources, but as investigations continue or new projects begin, resources may not be available.  The Sunlight Foundation recommends ways to avoid problems in case of another loss of access to government data.

What qualifies as "essential" government functions:
Military operations and transportation and weather services are among some of the essential programs that will continue operating.  Regulations and inspections groups are among those that will continue to work with fewer staff. 

How to find government data from alternative sources:
The Pew Center has a list of all data resources currently offline.  IRE, the Reynold's National Center for Business Journalism, and Investigative News Network all have alternative services for accessing government data.

Covering the shutdown:

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