January 10, 2012

Associated Press | Honest Appalachia
The AP’s Vicki Smith writes that Honest Appalachia co-founder Jim Tobias and his partners decided to focus on seven states — West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina — “because of its relatively rural area, believing there was less media scrutiny in the region and that a resource like Honest Appalachia would be particularly valuable.” Whistleblowers will be able to upload documents anonymously after downloading software from the site; staff will vet the documents and work with journalists to publicize them.

The site, which is funded by the Sunlight Foundation and private donations, differentiates itself from WikiLeaks in a blog post:

“We also believe in the old journalistic ethic of objectivity.Unlike Wikileaks, we do not wish to engage in partisanship(After reevaluating this statement, we feel it is unfair to Wikileaks. We respect the work they do and we appreciate the risks they have taken as journalists working to expose corruption and deceit.) We intend to be objective and professional in our presentation of the documents and information that we receive from whistleblowers.”

Related: WSJ, NYT Wikileaks knockoffs stuck in neutral (Forbes) | Reporters’ reliance on tools like Skype, e-mail, texts, and instant messaging makes it easy to spy on them (CJR)

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Steve Myers was the managing editor of Poynter.org until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens,…
Steve Myers

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