Welcome to NewsTRACS created by Wendy Siegelman. NewsTRACS uses open source data and covers power, politics and money with a focus on: the U.S., kleptocracy, graft, Trump, Russia, business and real estate deals, surveillance and influence companies and other legal but curious people and networks.
During the Trump presidency the media reported extensively on financial corruption, kleptocracy (government by those who seek personal gain at the expense of the governed) and influence campaigns during the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections.
New citizen researchers emerged on social media sites like Twitter and often leveraged expertise in other areas to research and share information, which was sometimes picked up by reporters and featured in mainstream news stories.
In 2017 I published a Buzzfeed opinion piece entitled “I’m One Of The People Investigating Trump On Twitter. You Should Work With Us, Not Mock Us.” I described the value provided by many citizen researchers who use open source data and share information for free and how mainstream media could leverage this phenomenon.
Several organizations such as ProPublica and Bellingcat are leaders in using open source data in their investigations and stories. And groups such as the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) have provided the public with invaluable databases, resources and reporting.
But years after Trump became president, few news outlets have truly innovated or disrupted their news gathering and publishing process to leverage open-source researchers and their findings. Most for-profit media companies benefit by keeping their research and findings proprietary.
It has been several years since I published the piece in Buzzfeed. I created NewsTRACS in 2022 to share my open-source charts and publications for free to all readers. The site includes dozens of charts and articles previously published on Medium and will feature new content going forward. To learn more about my research published or cited in other publications see this page on Wendy Siegelman.
In my professional career I spent over two decades developing and managing online news, financial and informational websites for individual and professional users – creating, licensing and developing content, functionality, UI and UX design, etc. I moved my prior publications from Medium to NewsTRACS to provide a sandbox to experiment with new ways of creating and displaying charts and articles and sharing research.
The Resources section includes links to websites useful for researching corporate entities in the U.S. and in some countries, and other types of links. The Resources section, like this website, will grow and evolve over time. The site may also feature content created by other open source researchers, reporters and creators. Feedback is welcome through the Contact page.