Who we are
The Austin Bulldog is the premiere investigative journalism outfit in Central Texas.
Launched in 2010, the Bulldog has become a trusted independent voice for government accountability, known for its incisive, in-depth coverage of local elections and local government agencies.
Why we're different
Ken MartinFounder, editor and publisher
Ken got interested in journalism while a career officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving more than 20 years on active duty, including a tour in Vietnam, he completed his career as a major and moved to Austin in 1978 to earn a humanities degree with a minor in journalism at the University of Texas.
Today Ken may be the only living journalist who has worked full-time for publications located in the three major counties of the Austin metropolitan area: Travis, Williamson and Hays. He has been a reporter and editor in the tri-county area since 1981, including associate editor of Third Coast magazine (1981-84), managing editor and janitor of the Dripping Springs Dispatch (1984-85), and county and political editor of the Williamson County Sun (1986-89).
His aggressive reporting twice garnered first-place national awards for investigative reporting. Both of those projects resulted in successful criminal prosecutions. In launching The Austin Bulldog, Ken returned to his roots in investigative reporting, primarily covering the public sector.
Ken was an investigative reporter for the Austin Business Journal 1989-1990 and served as editor 1990-1994, a period in which the newspaper won numerous awards for journalistic excellence. In 1995, he started the In Fact weekly newsletter covering Austin City Hall and local politics. Beginning in 1998, while still publishing In Fact, he also owned and edited Texas Public Utility News for 13 months, producing a twice-monthly newsletter covering the Texas Public Utility Commission. In 1999, Ken began publishing the In Fact newsletter five days a week, making it In Fact Daily, Austin’s first online newsletter. He sold In Fact Daily in 2000 and, after several changes in ownership, today it continues publication as the Austin Monitor.
Meanwhile, in 1997, Rebecca Melançon and Ken founded The Good Life magazine, which he edited for more than 11 years. The magazine published numerous special reports, including five in 2008 alone, before ceasing publication in January 2009 due to the economy.
After the magazine folded Ken won a “New Voices” grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to start The Austin Bulldog, which began online publication in April 2010.
Daniel Van OudenarenReporter
Daniel is an investigative journalist who has covered some of the most controversial and complex political issues in Austin’s recent history, including the reimaging public safety movement, Project Connect, council redistricting, and the Land Development Code rewrite.
A Texan by marriage and initially a reluctant Austinite, Daniel got into local journalism as a way of exploring his new environment. He began writing for local publications in 2018, including The Austin Business Journal, Honest Austin, and The Austin Bulldog. In 2019, he worked a session at the Texas Legislature as a writer for the nonpartisan House Research Organization.
Eventually Daniel adopted Austin whole-heartedly as his home city, accepted “y’all” as an essential improvement to the English language, and became the father of two native-born, taco-eating, boot-wearing Austinite toddlers.
Before coming to Texas, Daniel worked for seven years on a media project supporting independent journalism in one of the world’s most repressive dictatorships, South Sudan. The project, Radio Tamazuj, brought together a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual team of radio and digital journalists. As a co-founder and the initial project manager, Daniel played a key operational role and helped secure grants from the U.S. Institute of Peace, U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Netherlands Foreign Ministry.
Relying on technologies to evade government censorship, the project became popular among ordinary citizens because of its commitment to unvarnished reporting that couldn’t be found elsewhere. It was recognized for important contributions to human rights reporting in a 2014 joint report by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and won an award for inter-communal violence prevention from Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, a South Sudanese civil society group. The radio’s reporting was cited in a variety of international newspapers, human rights reports, and academic journals.
Daniel’s international experiences have given him a unique perspective on political culture, governance, and the critical role of a free press. He believes in the importance of airing dissenting voices, questioning government narratives, and facilitating constructive civic discourse on complex and sensitive topics.