SourceWatch/Archived Citizen Editor Projects

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Marcellus Shale is one of our featured citizen journalism requests for help. This project includes a expanding the discussion of the Halliburton loophole and the environmental hazards of hydrofracking. Efforts to extract the natural gas associated with the Marcellus Formation in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and neighboring states pose significant health hazards including both wasting fresh water and contaminating drinking water, according to the article and related sources. The article notes that the dangers of hydrofracking were expunged from the Dick Cheney energy task force report in 2001 and were downplayed in a 2004 report by the Bush Administration's Environmental Protection Agency, which led in part to exempting hydrofracking from regulation under the Clean Water Drinking Act, as part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act that passed as one of the major legislative initiatives of President Bush's second term.

You can also help by adding more information to SourceWatch pages about the Halliburton loophole, hydrofracking, and natural gas extraction wells in your neighborhood.

  • Cleaning up Tobacco Documents Biographies: We need help cleaning up existing articles in our new Tobaccowiki Biographies database. This database contains information on over 10,000 people affiliated with the tobacco industry, for example consultants, political allies, and employees. Most of the articles already have some information in them. You can help by examining the existing articles, adding appropriate paragraph breaks and putting the information into full sentences. Thanks!

  • Updating Data on Think Tanks: Some of the highest traffic pages in SourceWatch are those on the proliferating number of think tanks scattered around the world. Keeping track of what their latest projects are, their finances and key personnel is a challenge. That's where you come in. The profiles on think tanks that are in our top 100 most visited pages, in order of page views over the last week, are those on Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Heartland Institute. With a little bit of effort from a handful of citizen editors we could make sure the profiles are right up to date. Or, if you'd prefer to pick one of the other think tanks, go right ahead. What we need to check is that listed staff and office bearers are current, funding information is as up to date as possible, contact addresses are correct and current priorities are included on the page. Most of this information will be on each think tank's website. (Though note, some think tanks don't publish their annual reports on their website).

  • Probing the Pentagon Pundit Documents: Remember the New York Times expose on the Pentagon's use of retired military officers who frequently appear as "military analysts" on television and radio news shows? The program was launched in 2002 to help sell the Iraq war, but soon expanded to other controversial issues. Most of the 8,000 pages of internal Pentagon documents used to document the illegal propaganda program haven't been analyzed or reported on. But now, thanks to the Center for Media and Democracy, those documents are now text searchable! Help us dig out the gems in the emails between Pentagon PR staffers, talking points and briefing transcripts. How did the Pentagon use the program to spin Guantanamo Bay or military operations in Afghanistan? Are John McCain or John Murtha mentioned in the Pentagon documents? What about Fox News or PBS? CMD has converted the Pentagon documents so that you can search them by keyword, and posted them on our SourceWatch site. Have a look -- some ideas to help you get started are here -- and post what you find on relevant SourceWatch articles.