Tennessee Watchdog to transition from Beacon to Franklin Center

January 15, 2013 9:13AM

NASHVILLE – Today, the Beacon Center of Tennessee announced the transition of its Tennessee Watchdog project to the Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Tennessee Watchdog is an investigative reporting and watchdog journalism website dedicated to monitoring the activities of local, state, and federal officials and agencies in Tennessee.

With the support of the Franklin Center in 2009, the Beacon Center launched Tennessee Watchdog as part of its ongoing effort to promote nonprofit journalism and hold government accountable. The Beacon Center became the first state-based public policy organization to hire an investigative journalist to advance its mission as a government watchdog.

“As the traditional media’s role of government watchdog continues to decline, we found it necessary to maintain a high level of accountability through investigative reporting,” said Beacon Center CEO Justin Owen. “Tennessee Watchdog has made a tremendous impact, uncovering waste, fraud, and abuse, and allowing us to make government more transparent and accountable to taxpayers.”

The Franklin Center has utilized its expertise to launch investigative reporting and news bureaus across the country, providing hard hitting journalism and investigative reporting to fill the void left by the decline in traditional media. As the demand for nonprofit journalism grows, it has decided to operate those efforts directly rather than in conjunction with state-based policy organizations.

Tennessee Watchdog has a proven record of achievement that makes the Franklin Center proud,” said Franklin Center President Jason Stverak. “We are excited for the opportunity to expand our operations and take Tennessee Watchdog‘s success to the next level.”

Chris Butler will continue as editor of Tennessee Watchdog and the website’s mission and function will remain the same. Visit the website at

“The Beacon Center remains committed to holding government accountable and making taxpayers aware of how government impacts their lives,” said Owen. “We look forward to a continued partnership with the Franklin Center and Chris to advance our common goals.”

The Beacon Center’s mission is to change lives through public policy by advancing the principles of free markets, individual liberty, and limited government. Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is a leader in non-profit journalism. It was founded in 2009 to address falling standards in the media as well as a steep falloff in reporting on state government and provides professional training and assistance with a mission of exposing waste, fraud, and abuse in government.