NPR.org has a brief article and audiocast entitled “21st Century Crowbars Help Pry Open Government” by Andrea Seabrook. It is the second of a two-part series, of which the first part is entitled “Follow the Money: Web Site Tracks Stimulus Dollars“.
Both stories highlight several “watchdog” websites such as OpenCongress.org, OpenSecrets.org, Filibusted.us, and Legistalker.org. Filibusted.us recently won the “Apps for America” contest hosted by the Sunlight Foundation.
Clay Johnson, described by NPR as a 21st century government watchdog, of Sunlight Labs states:
We live in a society now where if it’s not on the Internet, it doesn’t exist. The more transparent we make government, the more people can participate in it. And when people participate in it, they’re no longer apathetic about it. So transparency kills apathy.