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Possible industry funded groups requiring investigation

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This is a list of groups that citizen journalists have come across and thought are worthy of further investigation. Some may be industry-funded groups or coalitions; others may be more appropriately classified as corporate or political front groups which seek to conceal to some extent their funding sources or origins. Others may be legitimate non-profit groups.

Documenting possible industry funded groups

If you are interested in helping document one of more of these groups, please feel free to make a start. It can be as little as a one sentence "stub" or as much as a fully referenced profile.

  • Step 1. If you aren't already registered as a SourceWatch editor, you will need to do that here.) Then login (See here for more details. There is also more background on SourceWatch here).


  • Step 2. Then have a look at the list of groups below. The red links means that page doesn't yet exist. There may be some blue links, which indicate an already existing article, but these will be recently created ones which can probably do with some expanding. Click on the highlighted link and the editing window will open and reveal a blank page (if the link was red) or the existing text on the page (if the link was blue).


  • Step 3. Start the text by adding the name of the individual in bold by adding three single quote marks at the before and after the name like this '''Fred Nurk''' (Once saved, this will be displayed like this - Fred Nurk.)


  • Step 4. Save. Scroll down to the bottom of the window. In the "summary" space add "stub in progress" then click the "Save page" button. (This is just a precaution against an "edit conflict" - where two users are editing the same page at the same time. You can skip this step if you prefer).


  • Step 5. If you did save the page at an early stage, the article will be displayed on your screen. Re-open the editing window by clicking on the "Edit this page" tab on the top of the article.


  • Step 6. Post what referenced material you have found out about the group (See the "So How Do I Check Them Out?" section below).


  • Step 7. Add the reference tag immediately at the end of the copied material. The format for the reference tag is
<ref>[http://www.heartland.org/NewYork08/ConferenceBios.pdf "ADD NAME"], Heartland Institute, March 2008.</ref>


  • Step 8. Underneath this copy and paste the following text on the page.

==SourceWatch resources== *[[Front groups]] ==External links== ===Sources=== <references/> ===Articles=== [[Category:Front groups]] {{#badges: front groups}} {{stub}}

It is possible that other categories may be more appropriate if you are not sure if they are front groups. Other possible categories are [[Category:Non-Government Organizations]] [[Category:Industry-funded organization]] and one for the group's country such as [[Category: United States]]

You will also need to add line breaks after each of the "Articles and Resources==", "Sources==" and "The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change]]" commands. This will make the formatting look much tidier than it appears above).

SourceWatch editor Bob Burton will review the pages and see if other categories or links are more appropriate


  • Step 9. Preview your work. Click the "Show preview" button underneath the edit window, and check to make sure your changes look good.


  • Step 10. Save the profile. Click the "Save page" button underneath the window.

There, you have created a new SourceWatch page. You are more than welcome to keep adding to these pages to make them as comprehensive as possible. You can also track the rise of the page(s) you created by including the name of the individual or organization in a Google search and watching how highly it ranks in the search results. (Most pages are picked up by the search engines within a week of being created and most should be up in the top ten results).

So How Do I Check Them Out?

Some basic places to start are:

  • Try the search engines with a search on the exact title of the group and see what pops up.
  • If they state they're a U.S.-based non-profit organization, search the Guidestar database; (You'll need to complete the free registration to be able to access the most useful information). If they're included there, look at their most recent 990 return filed with the Internal Revenue Service. This will provide basic information like the group's web address, directors and some staff, income, revenue, key areas of expenditure and financial transactions with related organisations.
  • If you encounter a web address for a group that no longer has a website, or the URI of a page that appears to no longer be online, look in the Internet Archive here. This site archives web pages and often has material for defunct groups. However, groups can choose to opt out so there may be nothing in the archive.

What to look for?

  • When did they start?
  • Why did they form? What is their purpose?
  • What are/were their key activities?
  • Who founded them?
  • Who funds them? If they don't disclose any details, is there a statement on the sorts of companies or others who do fund them?
  • Are they still operating?
  • Who are/were the staff?
  • Is there any evidence that a PR company or a political consultant was involved in creating them or assisting them?
  • What address and other contact details are available?

Can I add a group to the list?

Sure. If there is a group you think merits further investigation, feel free to add it to the list below. All you need to do is:

1. Check the correct name of the group.

2. Click the "edit this page" tab up the top of the page to open the edit window.

3. Find the right spot for it in the alphabetical list.

4. Then post the following text onto to page *[[Name of group]]

5. In the summary bar at the foot of the edit window add a brief note like "add new name" and click "save page".

Groups requiring further investigation