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  • Welcome to Scribe, Think Tank Journalism

    Today’s launch of the redesigned Foundry also brings with it exciting changes for the Center for Media and Public Policy, Heritage’s investigative reporting operation. More than a year after refocusing our mission on journalism, we now have a prominent place to showcase that work. Welcome to Scribe, a blog that features Heritage’s original reporting on policy issues.

    The addition of Scribe comes at an important time for think tank journalism. Rapid expansion at the state level — mostly through the work of the Franklin Center and State Policy Network — inspired Heritage to move in this direction in 2010. And as national nonprofit journalism organizations continue to gain prominence, we are paying close attention to the trend.

    Scribe will mix breaking news and analysis with long-form investigative stories. We’ll produce news-oriented video packages and short documentaries on policy issues. We also plan to offer a mix of traditional blog features to complement The Foundry.

    Much of the work we’ve done over the past year has found a home on The Foundry or at outlets such as the Washington Examiner, FoxNews.com, Politico, Human Events or the Daily Caller. Those publications continue to give our work great exposure, but we wanted a destination that provides readers a central location at Heritage as well.

    You might be wondering why a 38-year-old think tank is embarking on investigative reporting. It’s a decision we contemplated for months, ultimately deciding there were so many stories to research and investigate that it was a natural extension of our policy work. Heritage remains a research and educational institution first and foremost focused on formulating and promoting conservative public policies. The work of our Center for Media and Public Policy allows us to execute that mission more effectively.

    Take the recent example of Yucca Mountain, in the news of late because Nuclear Regulatory Commission Chairman Gregory Jaczko withheld information from his fellow commissioners about the proposed nuclear waste repository. Last fall Heritage requested the NRC’s safety evaluation report. It took months for the agency to respond to our Freedom of Information Act request, but when it was released, Heritage was the first to have it, prompting interest across Capitol Hill.

    Then there’s the case of the Wisconsin public-sector union protests. Heritage’s reporting team was on the ground shortly after the protests began in February, producing a popular myth vs. fact video, securing an interview with Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and telling a story about labor unions that complements our policy research.

    Oftentimes our work will expose stories that are below the radar and don’t get the type of attention we think they deserve. Take last week’s hearing of the Consumer Product Safety Commission on crib safety. In a matter of weeks, an estimated 100,000 cribs face disposal because of a government-mandated deadline the commission refused to move. It’s not that the cribs are unsafe or a hazard to children; the CPSC simply refused to listen to the concerns of business about selling the cribs before the June 28 deadline.

    It’s these stories and others we’ll feature on Scribe. Of course, many of our ideas come from readers. We’re always on the lookout for tips and suggestions, so don’t hesitate to email us at scribe[at]heritage.org.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Welcome to Scribe, Think Tank Journalism

    1. Jack Kirkpatrick says:

      Congratulations. Who better to expand and present grownup analysis than The Heritage Foundation? With today's media abandoning their responsibilty, Heritage has a huge info gap to fill. I am certain you are up to it.

    2. George Colgrove, VA says:

      This is a great move!

      As necessary cuts are made in DC and the federal government returns to it initial founding principles the importance and to its new task of servicing the massive national debt, the importance of the federal government will be significantly reduced.

      We will need Heritage to expand its scope to oversee the state governments. Heritage's best feature is it's volumes of analysis and contrasts to federal policy. When healthcare returns to the state, when homeland security returns to the states, when transportation, education, energy, natural resource protection and preservation and more all return to the states, we will need Heritage even more. Heritage's task and importance will become 50-fold! Heritage can expand its analysis to compare the 50 different ideas on solving these problems as implemented by the states and point out what is the most efficient, effective and less costly. Heritage can become that arena for which ideas can truely compete.

      I look forward to the future of scribe.

      Many Thanks!

    3. West Texan says:

      Excellent! Looks and sounds great.

    4. enrique millán says:

      From the distance I find myself, the Heritage org.scenario is where free ideas meet.
      I feel fortunate to be able to have that possibility.
      Enrtique Millán

    5. ALLEN DUNN says:

      I'm a retired DoD civilian analyst who did a lot of writing. I could make myself available some hours each day to dig into local issues as an amateur reporter if that would be of value to you.
      Allen Dunn
      Arlington Va.

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