Frequent Questions

What is non-profit journalism?

Non-profit journalism is driven by the mission, vision and values of its organization. It is not motivated by commercial success or beholden to advertisers or ownership. It is non-partisan and non-political. It is truly independent, and free to focus on specific areas of the public's interest. Franklin Center’s non-profit status sets us apart from commercial, mainstream media that traditionally has attempted to provide broad-scope content across a spectrum of public and private interests. The work that we support and fund can be found at Watchdog.org.

How is Franklin Center funded?

Franklin Center has a diverse base of donors that includes contributions from private citizens and foundations with a passion for non-partisan, non-political state-based coverage of taxation and government's spending of tax dollars. The Franklin Center does not accept advertising dollars. However, Watchdog.org, our public-facing journalism platform, accepts advertising. For rates or information about how businesses or causes can advertise with Watchdog.org, please click here.

What is Watchdog.org and how is it affiliated with Franklin Center?

Founded in 2009, Watchdog.org is the journalistic platform supported by Franklin Center. It is one of the oldest continuously operated non-profit news companies in the United States. The Franklin Center's Watchdog.org platform focuses on statehouse and statewide reporting from across the United States. Our primary differentiation is an interest in taxation, and the use of taxpayer dollars at the state and local level. We endeavor to explain why tax dollars are collected, how they are used by government, and the value or lack of value this money provides to the public that funds it.

Does the Franklin Center's Watchdog.org follow a journalism code of ethics?

Our code of ethics was created by the leadership that oversees Franklin Center and publishes Watchdog.org. Born from the tenets of professional and ethical journalism, our ethics code can be found here.

How does Watchdog.org choose the stories it pursues?

Editors and reporters who work for Watchdog.org plan the news through the same professional processes and protocols employed at traditional media companies. Stories are planned on a daily, weekly and longer-term basis, and scheduled as part of a news budget that is updated and improved throughout the news cycle. Our publishing focus is Monday through Friday throughout the year, but our dedicated staff of editors and reporters stand ready around the clock, seven days a week, to provide important stories that are in the public interest.

Are Watchdog stories picked up by other news outlets?

Yes. News outlets with an interest in improving or augmenting their coverage of statehouse and statewide news utilize the content we publish at Watchdog.org as a free, syndicated news service. All of our work is published online at Watchdog.org, but readers also will see stories from our team published in local newspapers and in media websites across the country.

Do other news sites need permission to crosspost Watchdog articles?

No. Watchdog.org content can be published and shared without permission and without cost to news publishers. However, we ask for proper citation both in print and online. Republication of images published at Watchdog.org must adhere to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Read more here.

How can I submit a news tip?

Our news reporting is for the public’s benefit. We accept story ideas and news tips. Submit story ideas by email at NewsTip@Watchdog.org. Submit a confidential tip here.

How can I schedule an interview with Franklin Center staff?

If you are a media outlet writing a story about the Franklin Center, please direct your questions and interview requests to Media@Watchdog.org.

How can I make a donation to support Franklin Center’s watchdog journalism?

Your generous donation to the Franklin Center can be made online here or call our office for assistance at 847-497-5230. Your donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law under Internal Revenue Service Code Section 501(c)(3).