Journalism Policy

The Florida Center for Government Accountability provides guidance and assistance to any journalist seeking access to government information in Florida. The goal of FLCGA is to both facilitate and accelerate local on-the-ground reporting with critically-needed tools, expertise and knowledge using aggressive public records investigation and well-sourced quality reporting

JOURNALISM PROGRAM POLICY

 
Civic engagement is critical to a healthy and robust democratic society. Citizens rely on a variety of news sources for information essential to their ability to hold government accountable for its actions. Traditional news outlets, particularly at the local level, are facing pressures never before seen and are increasingly unable to meet the informational needs of the public due to limited and dwindling resources.

The goal of FLCGA is to both facilitate and accelerate local on-the-ground reporting with tools, expertise and knowledge using aggressive public records investigation and well-sourced quality reporting.

The FLCGA Journalism Program will contract independent journalists to produce stories, generated either from tips, our own independent research, or proposals from journalists. Stories produced by FLCGA journalists will be posted to The Center’s website and FLCGA will partner with established media to further disseminate these stories. FLCGA will compensate these journalists in the form of a stipend ranging from $500 to $5,000 depending on the anticipated length and complexity of the story. FLCGA may, at its discretion, pay half the stipend up front and half upon completion, or pay the entire grant upon completion and production of the story. The FLCGA Journalism program director, with assistance from the journalism program committee, will be involved in all aspects of the story from conception to editing to publication. FLCGA’s goal is both to inform the public and to contribute to maintaining a robust journalism culture with diverse voices throughout Florida at a time when the future of local journalism is uncertain.

FLCGA is equally committed to ensuring open access to public information by acting as a public records watchdog. The FLCGA Public Access Program will aid journalists who face obstacles obtaining government records that qualify as publicly available, whether contracted with FLCGA or not, and will diligently and aggressively challenge agencies and officials who impede access to public information.

The Center will maintain a committee to review story proposals when necessary, oversee ethics compliance and conflict of interest standards, and to help maintain the focus and quality of the journalism it produces. The FLCGA Journalism program director will serve as the committee chair and will coordinate with The Center’s executive director and Board as needed

The Florida Center for Government Accountability is committed to producing and supporting fair and unbiased journalism in the public interest in Florida.