Election year is coming. Political money will be gushing out of wealthy donors’ pockets, bringing a tsunami of ads to every television, phone, tablet screen and more. Much of this cash will be funneled through secretive organizations that aren't required to reveal their donors, or much else about their agenda. It will pour into the campaign coffers of politicians in a position to do legislative favors.
Think there's nothing you can do about it? WRONG! At the Sunlight Foundation, we combine old-fashioned shoe leather journalism with cutting-edge technology to counteract big money with big data. Knowledge is power and you can help us create and share it!
If you are a student of politics, journalism or data — undergraduate or pursuing a graduate degree — we want to work with you. Thanks to the generosity of Google, we'll be offering a paid fellowship next summer at our office in the nation's capital. Here, you’ll join our experienced reporting team and talented developers to tell one of the most important stories of the year: Who is trying to buy our elected representatives? And what do they want in return?
You'll be able to use and maybe even help develop Sunlight tools such as:
- Ad Sleuth and Ad Hawk, allowing us to follow spending by super PACs and nonprofit organizations trying to influence elections with television ads.
- The Political Party Time project collects political fundraising invitations into a central, searchable database.
- Open States gives us the ability to follow state bills at each step of the legislative process.
- Docket Wrench lets us track the lobbying on regulations that follows the passage of laws — think health care reform and the Dodd Frank financial reform law.
We are highly responsive to policy changes that affect how political money is flowing. For example, the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision inspired our Follow the Unlimited Money tracker.
We operate in a fast-paced environment and welcome ideas wherever they come from. In return, we seek detail-oriented fellows with a strong news sense — who are not afraid of spreadsheets and are eager to tell a story.
For information about how to apply, please follow the link below. Sunlight fellows will receive a stipend of $8,000 for 10 weeks during the summer of 2014 and will also get a travel budget of $1,000. They will spend their first week at Google in Mountain View, Calif., then join Sunlight in Washington, DC on June 16, finishing on August 8. Applications are due by midnight on January 31, Pacific Time.