An interesting new web startup has just emerged from San Diego. Flashlight is a new partnership between reporters at the San Diego CityBeat and the public information advocacy site Open San Diego. The effort will create an indexed, easily accessible repository for various public records searches, and documents dug up during the course of journalistic reporting.
When good-government advocates began pushing for transparency through public-records laws and ethics reform, they may not have full appreciated how the slow drip of information would accumulate, over just a few years, into great expansive seas of data and documents. At the same time, we’ve reached a point where data sets and link sites are regularly becoming obsolete, too.