GovTrack Insider

Last week I launched GovTrack Insider, a spin-off of GovTrack.us that complements GovTrack with original and syndicated reporting of the U.S. Congress. I’m sending reporters to congressional committee markups to get as early of a peek into the public component of the legislative process as we can.

After five years of run­ning GovTrack.​us, I saw a need to move be­yond data. As we’ve seen over at the OpenCongress.org blog, reporting is an important part of following the legislative process, staying ahead of the game, and understanding the ramifications of procedural events. GovTrackInsider.​com puts a focus on grass-roots reporting of the legislative process.

GovTrack Insider has hired a small team of paid free­lance re­porters to cover con­gres­sion­al com­mit­tee meet­ings. This is the ear­li­est point in the leg­isla­tive pro­cess that we can ob­serve di­rect­ly, and it’s going to help us get an inside look like we’ve never had before. We’ll also be syndicating coverage from OpenCongress and elsewhere. In all of the articles we run, the focus will be on legislation and policy. We’ll be leaving politics and gossip to the old media.

In­sid­er is an open-access on­line news­pa­per, but one with some un­usu­al pages. For ar­ti­cles on many top­ics you’ll find on the right side a topic dash­board. There you can con­nect with other read­ers in a va­ri­ety of ways, such as a Q&A system, link submission, and a community notebook (a wiki).

In time we’ll be in­te­grat­ing In­sid­er more with GovTrack.​us so that if you’re track­ing a bill over on Gov­Track you’ll get a no­tice when­ev­er it’s men­tioned in an ar­ti­cle in GovTrack Insider.

I hope you’ll join us on this ex­per­i­ment. Happy read­ing.

(GovTrack Insider was built with the help of Josh Sulkin (of FlyOnTime.us fame).)

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