Why We Invested
As long as they operate out of sight, political campaigns and consultants have little incentive to hold back from pursuing strategies that rely on manipulating the public through fear, emotion and lies, and using secret money to amplify deception. By exposing who is behind secret money, the Center for Public Integrity will shift the incentives of these behind the scenes groups and raise public awareness about how the system is currently working.
Impacts & Accomplishments
During the 2012 election cycle, the Center for Public Integrity’s Consider the Source project produced 264 reports on the influence of money on our political system. The project’s reporting was cited by nearly every major US media outlet, including the New York Times, NBC News, the Miami Herald, Newsweek, the Financial Times, and many others. An independent evaluation of Consider the Source found that its coverage was an important resource for journalists covering money in politics. One journalist interviewed by the evaluators said, “I checked almost every day…not only the daily reports that they put out about money and politics, but the longer term projects as well - in addition to tweets and smaller incremental stories.” Interviewees emphasized that the Center for Public Integrity’s resources help to tell stories that aren’t written about in mainstream media and that haven’t been told before. A theme running across the interviews was that the Center for Public Integrity “digs deep” into the data, which was influential to other media. Said another journalist: “CPI has the resources to really dive in and tell the story of politics through data and not just through the numbers but through the personalities of these big donors and that is something we just don’t have the time to do.”