SourceWatch: A Strategic, Collaborative Encyclopedia of the People Behind the News

CMD launched SourceWatch in 2003 as an online encyclopedia of the people, organizations and issues shaping the public agenda. CMD's professional editors and IT staff have crafted a customized version of open source "wiki" software to host more than 40,000 articles and a growing number of branded portals and partnerships. Today CMD has the ability to quickly build high-traffic portals at low cost on any important issue and actively seeks appropriate partners among citizen, journalism, non-profit and academic organizations.

SourceWatch is a high-traffic website typically receiving more than two million unique visitors each month, and growing. Two-thirds of all the traffic to SourceWatch arrives through Google searches.

CMD's first SourceWatch portal was created in 2006 for the Sunlight Foundation and branded Congresspedia. It quickly became the best public interest portal site for information on every member of Congress. Earlier this year, Congresspedia spun off to become its own separate wiki on the OpenCongress website. CMD's success with Congresspedia has led to a growing number of branded websites and partnerships inside SourceWatch including the following:

TobaccoWiki was created in 2006 with funding from the American Legacy Foundation. It is the most visited and extensive "wiki" website on tobacco issues, edited by CMD's Anne Landman.

Full Frontal Scrutiny is a partnership between CMD and Consumer Reports WebWatch that contains extensive information on scores of corporate "front groups": organizations that appear to be neutral or public interest groups, but are actual fronts for special interests.

The Superdelegate Transparency project existed inside SourceWatch from February to June 2008 and was one of the most comprehensive sources of detailed information on the Democratic Party's superdelegates, who they were, how they were likely voting, and how to reach them. Its success led to CMD's Election Protection Wiki , a three-month project inside SourceWatch that quickly created one of the best sources on the web for information about election integrity groups and issues.

CoalSwarm is a joint project of CMD and a network of grassroots opponents of coal-fired power plants. It provides detailed information on the coal industry, coal's role in global warming, and the successful movement that is stopping and shutting down coal power plants.

GlobalCorpWiki is the latest project begun by CMD in collaboration with a global network of corporate watchdog groups and academics, coordinated and funded in part by the Department of Sociology at the University of California-Berkeley. Activists in dozens of countries world wide are tracking the activities of major global corporations and reporting inside SourceWatch.

In 2008, CMD launched its Climate Change Portal. The portal investigates key aspects of climate change policy and debate, in preparation for the December 2009 United Nations’ Climate Change Convention in Copenhagen. The conference, referred to as COP15, aims to establish "an ambitious global climate agreement for the period from 2012."


PR Watch and Sourcewatch are essential tools for the anti-corporate activist like myself. Jason Gooljar