The budget for the city of Januária, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, will soon have a new watchdog: the citizens themselves. A citizen journalism project led by three journalists —Amanda Rossi, Fabio Oliva and Jamila Venturini— plans to teach local residents how to access and share information about the city's coffers.
In Januária there have been successive cases of corruption that have resulted in a constant turnover of mayors: since 2004, seven persons have held the position. The citizen monitoring project is a way to help fight corruption.
The initiative, “Friends of Januária - Citizen Journalism,” is supported by the non-profit freedom of expression group Article 19 and was the first project in Brazil to receive funding from Global Voices. The project also draws on collaborative financing, referred to as “crowdfunding,” where donations can be made on the site Catarse.
Those interested in contributing to the project have until Aug. 15 to make a donation, for which they will receive a gift.