NPR crowdsourcing project: Who is that lobbyist?

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For its coverage of health care reform legislation being drafted on Capitol Hill, NPR News launched Dollar Politics, a series examining how lobbyists seek to influence the debate. The reportage includes an crowdsourcing project, “Turning the Camera Around,” that starts with a panoramic photograph of the audience attending a June 17 Senate hearing where lawmakers began working on the overhaul. Reporters Peter Overby and Andrea Seabrook did some legwork to identify a few of the lobbyists in the photo and they turned to the audience for help in naming others. “The response so far has been practically ecstatic–at least in the blogosphere and the Twitterverse,” Seabrook says in this Q&A with Poynter Online. ” And we’ve gotten quite a few e-mails from listeners who love the fact that we’ve ‘turned the lens’ on the real story.” But lobbyists who have been identified respond quite differently, according to Overby: “Usually, their first reaction is, ‘How did you get my name?'”

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