Sludge is an independent, nonprofit news outlet that produces investigative journalism on lobbying and money in politics. We look beyond public records and disclosures to reveal the hidden networks and conflicts of interest that drive systemic corruption.
Sludge reports on the ways industries launder their agendas, the power maps of corporate networks that extend deep into government, how concentrated economic powers dictate public policy, and more. We scour disclosures and public documents, but we also focus on the ways that powerful interests influences politics that don’t fit established patterns and often don’t have to be disclosed.
We never take money from advertisers, interest groups, or corporations, so we are solely focused on providing information that our readers value. Because we don’t rely on advertisements for revenue, we never produce “clickbait” to pay our bills and we never shy away from topics that challenge powerful interests.
Sludge is a project of the Participatory Politics Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 2009. We are also a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), a network of over 300 independent news organizations, and one of the founding members of The Brick House Cooperative, a media collective of publications across the world.
If you like our work, please consider donating:
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The Sludge team
David Moore – executive director of the non-profit Participatory Politics Foundation. PPF created OpenCongress, the most visited non-profit site for tracking bills and money in the U.S. Congress. Later projects included AskThem and NYC Councilmatic. David is based in NYC. (@ppolitics)
Donald Shaw – Journalist who focuses on special interests’ efforts to influence politicians and shape public policy. He has been a reporter at MapLight, where he exposed correlations between campaign contributions and votes, and at OpenCongress. Donald is based in Western Massachusetts. (@donnydonny)
Sludge Funding & Donor Information
From January 2018 through March 2019, Sludge was supported by grants from the Civil Media Company and Civil Foundation. From April 2019 to April 2020, Sludge operated as an independent newsroom with the majority of its funding coming from small-donor member support.
In addition to small-dollar donations from Sludge members and site readers, since April 2020 Sludge has also been supported by our 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Participatory Politics Foundation. Sludge held a successful Kickstarter in March-April 2019 and reached halfway to goal in an IndieGoGo in October 2019. Sludge has received gifts between $1,000 and $5,000 from four family foundations to support our independent journalism in 2019 and 2020 and from journalist Chris Hayes.
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