Nieman Watchdog Project

The Nieman Watchdog Project was launched in 1996 to examine accountability journalism and the critical role of the press in speaking truth to power. Funded by 1950 Nieman Fellow Murrey Marder, a former diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, the Watchdog Project has evolved through the years to meet the changing needs of journalists.

In August 2012, the Watchdog Project took a new direction when, after eight years, it stopped publishing, the website that had explored the ways in which journalists do or do not hold powerful individuals and institutions accountable. The site encouraged better public policy reporting and also endeavored to shine a light on under-reported issues and connect journalists to experts who could serve as guides and sources. now remains online as an archive of important watchdog articles from the past.

Barry Sussman served as editor of the Nieman Watchdog site and its many contributors included policy experts, academics, journalists and think-tank analysts. The foundation is grateful to all those who wrote for during its time online. Morton Mintz, NF ’64, has served as a senior adviser to the Watchdog Project from its outset.

Watchdog stories now are published in Nieman Reports, with Dan Froomkin, former deputy editor of the site, and others writing articles.

The Watchdog Project also now supports the Murrey Marder Nieman Fellowship for watchdog journalism and plans to expand its programming on accountability journalism through special events and projects at the Nieman Foundation. These events will examine the successes and failures that characterize the current state of watchdog journalism.