Trustworthy information needs to be easier to find. So does calm and considered civic dialog. Public Eye Northwest (PEN) is a Seattle-based 501c3 focused on enabling those outcomes. A key PEN project is Public Data Ferret, which often gets front-page exposure as part of the Seattle Times’ News Partner Network. Other top Puget Sound new media public affairs outlets focus on personalized op-ed essays, agenda-driven reporting, routine daily legislative coverage, or long lead-time investigative pieces. All have their place, particularly the latter. But we’re different, and especially necessary.
We were proud to win a Key Award in 2012 from the Washington Coalition for Open Government for our work to daylight secreted government documents and data. We aim to secure funding to continue our work in Western Washington, and if possible, expand to metro Portland or the Bay Area. Here is our current strategic plan and budget. You can donate here, and review the bio of founder and Executive Director Matt Rosenberg.
WHY THIS, NOW? Going forward, our society and our region cannot depend solely on legacy media to enrich civic dialog, nor can we leave it to agenda-driven think tanks and inflamed partisan bloggers. At a time of media industry disruption and a poor signal-to-noise ratio, our aim is to help build a new and more robust regional news and information infrastructure – one girded by judicious harvesting and demystifying of online government documents and data, plus the embrace of emerging information technologies and networked learning opportunities. Our Web traffic and social media presence are growing healthily; our community outreach, as well. The following provide a good picture of our work: In The News; Internships; Public Appearances; Endorsements. We welcome the chance to talk to you or your organization about our work.
— Elliott Smith (@soundslikepuget) February 8, 2013