Capitol Hound service increases transparency in the North Carolina General Assembly

Mar 21 2014

CHAPEL HILL (March 20, 2014) – Reese News Lab at UNC is now offering subscriptions to Capitol Hound, a searchable archive and alert system for North Carolina General Assembly sessions and committee meetings. The pilot version of the product will be available for the upcoming short session of the North Carolina General Assembly, which begins May 14.

North Carolina is one of 41 states that does not offer searchable databases of the transcripts of state government sessions. People who seek to access the dialogue of the North Carolina General Assembly must attend sessions in person, read news summaries, or comb through lengthy, unsearchable audio recordings of the entire day’s dialogue. Capitol Hound provides  a quick alternative to this process.

Subscribers will receive next-day access to the searchable database of words spoken on the floor of the N.C. House and Senate, as well as certain committee meeting rooms. They will also have access to email notifications alerting them when keywords they select are mentioned on the floor of the legislature.

“This product offers incredible value to people in different positions across the state and we are excited to start sharing with people what Capitol Hound can do for them and their industry,” said Corinne Jurney, business developer for Capitol Hound.

Capitol Hound is valuable to anyone who wants to stay informed about what occurs in the state legislature. Lobbyists, lawyers, media professionals, politicians, government officials, law students and citizens can all benefit from the Capitol Hound database. The service increases transparency in the General Assembly, holding lawmakers more accountable to the public.

For $500, subscribers will have access to searchable audio and email alerts for the spring 2014 short session.

“Capitol Hound brings increased transparency to North Carolina government. We’re interested to see what effect our service will have on state politics,” said John Clark, executive director of the Reese News Lab.

A demo version of Capitol Hound is available at www.capitolhound.com.

The Reese News Lab is an experimental media and research project based at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Reese News Lab teams develop and test new ideas for the media industry.

Teams create prototypes, interview and survey potential customers and develop business strategies for their products. Students document their recommendations on whether they believe a product will work and then present their ideas to the public.


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