Eyes on Richmond & Richmond Reporter will provide complementary coverage to open up Virginia’s legislature to citizens across the commonwealth
Richmond, VA—Progress Virginia Education Fund today announced a pair of transparency tools to assist Virginians across the commonwealth in monitoring and engaging with Virginia’s General Assembly. This session, PVEF is launching the Richmond Reporter, a pilot journalism project to increase quality, unbiased coverage of the legislature at a time when statehouse newsrooms are shrinking across the country. PVEF is also continuing the groundbreaking Eyes on Richmond video monitoring project for a second year to provide live video coverage of legislative subcommittee hearings.
The Richmond Reporter
Progress Virginia Education Fund is thrilled to announce the hire of Mary Lee Clark, a Richmond-based journalist, to head up the Richmond Reporter. Clark, a native of Luray, Va., has written for The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, The Virginian-Pilot, and VCU’s Capitol News Service. The Richmond Reporter will remain separate from PVEF’s advocacy operation and will produce digital-first content designed to keep Virginians from across the commonwealth informed about the General Assembly.
“Richmond Reporter is a new digital publication focused on filling the gap in state political reporting,” said Clark. There are fewer journalists covering the state’s legislative session and this new platform seeks to fill the void in undercovered issues that affect many lives in Virginia. It is difficult to remain up-to-date in what decisions your representatives are making for you if you don’t have that information readily available. Richmond Reporter seeks to bring transparency to the uncovered issues that affect many Virginian’s everyday lives.”
“We’re thrilled to have Mary Lee on board to lead this new project,” added Progress Virginia Education Fund executive director Anna Scholl. “Our democracy works best when everyone is able to participate but too many Virginians feel they don’t have access to regular, reliable information regarding our state government. The decisions made in Richmond this winter will impact every Virginia family. We’re excited to launch the Richmond Reporter this year to help make sure every Virginian has the information they need to advocate for a better future.”
The Richmond Reporter can be found online at RichmondReporter.org.
Eyes on Richmond
In 2017, Progress Virginia Education Fund launched the groundbreaking Eyes on Richmond program to provide live video streams of committee and subcommittee hearings. The first of its kind project was widely lauded for bringing transparency to Virginia’s General Assembly and was recently awarded the Virginia Coalition for Open Government’s Lawrence E. Richardson Citizen Award. Following PVEF’s successful 2017 program, the Virginia House and Senate announced plans to provide state-sponsored video feed of regularly scheduled full committee hearings.
In 2018, PVEF will continue the Eyes on Richmond program to provide live video feeds of House and Senate subcommittee meetings as well as a master directory to connect citizens with legislative video, regardless of source. Paid legislative fellows will man the cameras in subcommittee meetings to provide video access and record of as many hearings as possible. As with the Richmond Reporter, Eyes on Richmond is a nonpartisan project that aims to increase transparency in Richmond. Cameras turn on at the beginning of a hearing and stay on until the end with no editing or editorial content.
“We’re excited to bring our successful Eyes on Richmond project back for a second year,” said PVEF executive director Anna Scholl. “While we’re thrilled our successful pilot year could help push the House and Senate towards launching their own video service, we firmly believe that each and every legislative deliberation should be recorded and available to the public. Every bill is important to someone. Virginians deserve the opportunity to hear their elected officials deliberate and vote on every bill that comes forward. In Virginia’s General Assembly, many decisions are made at the subcommittee level, which is often the only opportunity for public testimony. We at Progress Virginia are committed to continuing the Eyes on Richmond project until the state tasks on the complete task.”
Eyes on Richmond video feeds as well as a directory of EOR and state video feeds is online at EyesonRichmond.org