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About Us
 
 

AskQuestions.org is a project of the Public Interest News Gate, a California nonprofit corporation founded in 2003 and located in Berkeley, California. Contact us through executive director, Cheryl Woodard.

Mission
Staff and Directors
Reporters
Researchers
Technical Support
Media Relations
Other Advisors
Funding
Contributor Guidelines



Mission

Our mission is to gather and disseminate information about public opinion so that media organizations may become more responsive to public interests. It is also our mission to explore the intersection between the Internet and democracy by creating new public tools for civic engagement, and to publish information that helps people become informed consumers of the news.

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Staff and Directors

Cheryl Woodard (Executive Director) co-founded the world's top-selling computer magazine, PC Magazine, as well as PC World and Macworld in the 1980's. She served for seven years on the board of the International Data Group (IDG) publishing company in their San Francisco division. Her first book Starting and Running A Successful Newsletter or Magazine (Nolo Press, fifth edition, 2006) is the leading business how-to book for magazine publishers. Her second book, Every Nonprofit's Guide to Publishing (Nolo Press, 2007) will be published in May 2007. In addition to running AskQuestions.org, Woodard is full-time business consultant to publishers www.publishingbiz.com, and editor of AboutMeditation.com. Woodard is the only official PING staff person at this time.

Mark Dowie (board member) broke the Pinto story in 1977 while an editor at Mother Jones magazine. During his 28 years in journalism, Dowie has written over 200 investigative reports for magazines, newspapers and other publications. Dowie's work has won 17 major awards, including four National Magazine Awards. In 1992 he received the Media Alliance's Meritorious Award for Lifetime Achievement; in 1995 he was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, California. Dowie is currently teaching a course on science reporting at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.

Linda Maio (board member) has served as a Berkeley City Councilmember since December 1992. Until she retired recently, she was the Business Manager for Computing Sciences, a large research organization at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Linda co-founded the nonprofit corporation Resources for Community Development (RCD), a Berkeley-based housing development corporation, which develops low-cost housing and is one of the premier providers of housing for AIDS patients in the Bay Area. Councilmember Maio is Berkeley's representative to the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives and has been instrumental in enacting Berkeley's climate protection program.

Ted Nace (board member) founded Peachpit Press, the world's leading publisher of books on computer graphics and desktop publishing. He served as publisher of Peachpit for eleven years before selling the company to British publishing conglomerate Pearson. Before founding Peachpit, Nace worked as a researcher on electric utility policy for the Environmental Defense Fund, as staff director of the Dakota Resource Council, a grassroots group seeking to protect farms, ranches, and rural communities from the adverse effects of strip mining and other energy projects, and as a freelance journalist in the computer industry. He is the author or coauthor of five books, most recently Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy (Berrett-Koehler, 2003).

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Reporters

Cheryl Woodard is the author of two books about publishing from Nolo Press. She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of California Berkeley. She works as a full time business consultant to publishers www.publishingbiz.com.

Ted Nace worked as a researcher on electric utility policy for the Environmental Defense Fund and as staff director of the Dakota Resource Council, a grassroots group seeking to protect farms, ranches, and rural communities from the adverse effects of strip mining and other energy projects. In 1983 he began working as a freelance journalist in the computer industry, writing articles and columns for PC World, Macworld, Publish and other publications. In 1985 he founded Peachpit Press, the world's leading publisher of books on computer graphics and desktop publishing. He served as publisher of Peachpit for eleven years before selling the company to British publishing conglomerate Pearson. Nace is the author or coauthor of five books, most recently Gangs of America: The Rise of Corporate Power and the Disabling of Democracy (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2003).

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Researchers

Robert Berkman - Information industry veteran and author of several books on business research, Berkman also edits the monthly Information Advisor newsletter, providing analysis, advice, and strategy for information professionals.

Christy Harrison - earned a Bachelor's degree in Rhetoric and French from UC Berkeley and was Editor-in-Chief of a monthly campus magazine called Satellite, covering news, social issues, and the arts. Her reporting has appeared in the San Francisco Bay Guardian and Terrain, and she has held editorial positions at both publications. She continues to work as a freelance reporter/writer.

J Lee - recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Linguistics. After years of extensive research on various political topics, his current research interests include media analysis, government and corporate corruption, and ecologically sustainable methods of living.

Jessie Tucker Mitchell - is a freelance writer who has a Bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a long list of writing credentials for periodicals and newspapers.

Maria Scinto - operates her own freelance librarian service at www.yourvirtuallibrarian.com. She has a Masters degree in library science and 14 years experience as a librarian.

Leta Fayola Shy - will graduate in May 2004 from UC Berkeley with a degree in Mass Communcations. A student of journalism and communications, Leta served for a time as Assistant News Editor and then as the City Editor of the Daily Californian, Berkeley's student newspaper.

Natalya Sokolovskaya - a recent UC Berkeley Engineering graduate, Sokolovskaya has extensive experience reearching social science issues as well as technical ones using databases, published literature and online publications. Recent projects covered environmental engineering, economics and social science issues.

Anthony Mesa-Wilson - is a UC Berkeley graduate with an interdisciplinary degree in Integrative Mental Health who currently works with developmentally disabled children in a school setting. His 'beat' is health, especially brain/mind research, alternative medicines, psychopharmacology and psychology.

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Technical Support

A nimble group of web programmers at 42, Inc. is developing the initial AskQuestions site. Since 1992, this group has delivered strategic technology design and support to clients ranging from local professional firms and small businesses to the Berkeley Unified School District and the State of California. They were selected for their responsiveness, flexibility, and strategic application of appropriate IT solutions for a very wide range of client needs.

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Media Relations

Publicist Sylvia Paull has been marketing technology products since 1986, with clients ranging from CNET to Ask Jeeves. She was editor of the Windows 3.1 Bible; a writer for Wired magazine and AV Multimedia Reporter; founder of Gracenet, a national nonprofit for women in high tech and business media; and founder of the CyberSalon, a group of technology entrepreneurs and media people that meets monthly in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Other Advisors

All of the following people have provided support to this project in one form or another: Laura Nader, Michael Shuman, Joan Blades, Cory Levenberg, Richard Landry, David Bunnell, Nigel Holmes, Tom White, Ed Lempinen, Paul Grabowicz, Ron Blaise, Rocky Kistner, Alice Bonner, Chani Wiggins, Jack and Lucila Woodard (plus George, Iris and Sarah), Alicia Springer, Christina Spence, Mick Wiggins (plus Katie and Ron), Bobbi Nikles, Janet Wright.

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Funding

The project is funded entirely through private donations. We have 501(c)3 tax exemption status with the Federal government and donations to AskQuestions.org are fully tax deductible. A description of how we spend donated funds is provided here. You can make a donation of any size through the internet or by contacting Cheryl Woodard.

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Contributor Guidelines

Professional researchers and reporters who want to contribute to this site should read our Contributor Guidelines.



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AskQuestions.org is a service of the Public Interest News Gate, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public access to information.

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