The Big Local News team is pleased to announce the launch of CAL-ACCESS Watch, a new notification service for monitoring money in California politics.

The tool keeps a close eye on the government website that tracks campaign finance and lobbying activity in the state capital. When a disclosure report lands, our system spots it within minutes and sends an alert to participating newsrooms.

The service provides the most up-to-date notices anywhere on the flow of money into the Sacramento statehouse, as well as the cash funneled into high-stakes ballot measure campaigns. As the November election approaches, millions of dollars in donations are pouring in each day.

CAL-ACCESS Watch is now available to all members of the Big Local News Industrial Affiliates program. It’s already up and running in the Slack instance of Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times Slack

The tool is an extension of an open-source data pipeline that offers all journalists free access to a refined dataset derived from the Secretary of State’s jumbled, dirty and difficult CAL-ACCESS database.

Become an affiliate today to install CAL-ACCESS Watch, as well as similar services, like the recently launched Layoff Watch. There’s more to come, including Agenda Watch, our in-progress push to automate the collection of meeting agendas, minutes and other documents produced by local government.

Membership fees directly support the work of Big Local News by funding data gathering, software development and student instruction. To learn more and explore becoming a member, contact the program’s administrator, Cheryl Phillips, at [email protected]

About Big Local News

From its base at Stanford University, Big Local News gathers data, builds tools and collaborates with reporters to produce journalism with impact. Its website at biglocalnews.org offers a free archiving service for journalists to store and share data. Learn more by visiting our about page.