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November 14, 2005

Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch

Today, the Institute for Southern Studies and Southern Exposure launch Gulf Coast Reconstruction Watch, a coalition of concerned citizens monitoring hurricane recovery.

As the Gulf Coast struggles to rebuild in the wake of the devastating 2005 hurricane season, its residents are especially vulnerable to exploitation and exclusion. ReconWatch aims to keep the Gulf Coast in the public eye in order to safeguard democracy and accountability.

Chris Kromm, director of the Institute for Southern Studies explains how ReconWatch works:

We're bringing together a talented team of investigative reporters, community leaders, bloggers, and others to deliver coverage you won't find anywhere else.

We are going to watch the power-brokers and follow the money. We'll tell you who stands to gain, who's being left out, and what it means for the South and country.

We'll also introduce you to ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things to make their communities better.

Visit the ReconWatch blog to learn more about the project, including ways you can help keep watch over the Gulf Coast.

Bloggers, please spread the word about this exciting new initiative.


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I have to say that I don't like the way, right off the bat, they ask for what is a very large amount of money. Most blogs that ask for donations will some times state a goal, either in cash, or in what they plan to do with it i.e. server upgrades, or buying a new computer. Never have they said we need x amount of money or we can't function. That makes me a little suspicious. Of course, my suspicions could be totally unwarrented. That would be nice. Still, I do have them.

GC, it's important to recognize that the organizations involved aren't primarily blogs. They're coming to this project as a think tank/magazine that's supporting blogging as part of a larger long-term project.

Please don't hold the fundraising target against them. It's absolutely standard for non-profit groups to announce their fundraising goals up front.

I know the culture of non-profits is a little different from blog etiquette, but please don't think they're putting the hard sell on anyone. These guys are already charging ahead with or without additional financial backing.

I've been corresponding with the director of the ISS for a couple of weeks now, and I can assure you that he and his organization are solid. They've got a long track record and, by all accounts, lots of cred with other activists in that community.

ReconWatch is certainly not pressuring anyone to give money. The number one goal is to get people involved--as readers, bloggers, local observers, etc.

Thanks for the clarification, Lindsay. Obviously I didn't realize a blog was only part of what they're doing. In that case, more power to them.

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