“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” —Abraham Lincoln
Thanks for visiting The Austin Bulldog, a small but scrappy entry into the field of journalists covering the scene in Austin, Texas.
While April Fool’s Day may seem an inauspicious day to launch a new publication, we thinkit’s entirely fitting. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We take our journalism very seriously.
The Austin Bulldog is something new and different hereabouts. We’re mainly concerned with doing hard-hitting investigative reporting for stories that make a difference in the Austin community. We also publish informed commentary and question-and-answer interviews.
The Austin Bulldog is nonprofit, nonpartisan and non-advocacy. We will go where the facts lead us and report accordingly.
The Austin Bulldog is one of the countless experiments in new forms of community journalism springing up all over the country. The Austin Bulldog is one of eight such startups that won a New Voices grant in 2009 for hyperlocal journalism focusing on our respective communities. Thanks to that grant, we have been able to use the past year to read about and research how vastly media has changed since we launched In Fact Daily in July 1999,Austin’s first online newsletter. We took In Fact daily after publishing it weekly since founding it in July 1995.
Now, instead of passively consuming the news you can be an active and important part of the newsgathering process. While we are entirely responsible for what you will read in The Austin Bulldog, we encourage and invite your participation in numerous ways. You can:
• Write for the Bulldog.
• Blow the Whistle to tell us about things that need to be investigated.
• Contribute funds, as much or as little as you wish. You can choose to help fund specific investigations we have posted for crowdfunding.Or you can make a one-time contribution or become a sustaining supporter with an ongoing monthly contribution. Whatever amount you contribute, you can be sure it’s making a difference in helping to hold the powers that be accountable. Note: The New Voices grant will provide a final installment of $8,000 in June 2010—but only if we match those funds, so please help.
• Provide information to assist investigations that we’re working on, angles that should not be overlooked, sources we should interview. (We will announce some of our investigations-in-progress via this Bulldog Blog, Facebook and Twitter.)
• Tell your friends about the work we’re doing. (You can shoot them a link to the articles you find worthwhile by clicking on the e-mail icon that’s at the top right corner of each article.) Your can also spread the word about an article you like by using the “tweet” button to send a Twitter message.
• Vote on the quality of our articles by grading them (1 to 5 stars).
• Vote on the quality of comments made about our articles (thumbs up or thumbs down).
• Report abuses when comments on our articles violate our rules governing comments.
• Sign up to Receive New Alerts when we publish an important story. (Just insert your e-mail address in the block on the left side of this or any other page, click “Go” and fill in the form.)
• Consider getting directly involved in investigative reporting projects by joining the Austin Investigative Reporting Team, a self-help group to boost interest and participation in the craft. Anyone who wants to learn more about investigative reporting and work on projects with other Team members is welcome to join. Some may want to teach. Some may want to learn. All should want to make a difference. You do *not* have to be an investigative reporter to participate, or even a journalist, just someone with willingness to brainstorm ideas, or share knowledge, techniques, technology and anything else that would facilitate the quality and quantity of investigative reporting being done in Austin.
Some will ask, what’s different about The Austin Bulldog? Here’s our answer: A variety of websites have sprung up in Austin over the years. Some are high-dollar subscription newsletters for insiders with a monetary need-to-know. Among the free-to-read sites, some fill a well-defined niche, such as partisan politics or criminal justice. Others provide a wide variety of information by aggregating the work of local bloggers.
None of these sites—subscription or free—are dedicated to investigative reporting by experienced professional journalists. That’s our niche.We’ve got a fire in the belly and a passion for investigative reporting.
To learn more about what we’re up to, please check out our frequently asked questions.