Civil Beat and the State Accountability Project

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

It was a year ago that I first heard of the State Accountability Project.

The 50-state effort to produce an account of how transparent and accountable state governments really are seemed to align with Civil Beat's goals.

In Civil Beat's first year, we had already encountered numerous problems in Hawaii gaining access to public information and witnessed many cases involving public officials that raised ethical questions.

Right from the start, we at Civil Beat have been committed to placing Hawaii issues into a national context, to comparing how we do things here with how they're handled in other states. We think this insight gives citizens a measure of the performance of their own government and opens the door to solutions we may not have tested.

By August, we had joined journalists from 49 other states in working with the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International on what turned out to be a massive and very challenging reporting effort. The project is funded in part by the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm founded by Civil Beat Publisher and CEO Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pam.

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