Free the Files

How much are candidates spending on TV ads? You can help figure it out.

FREE THE FILES event set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 22 at YSU is hosting a Free the Files event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 22 in DeBartolo Hall on the Youngstown State University campus to reveal information about who is buying political ads and how much they are spending.

Volunteers will be asked to look through information and key in relevant data about the political advertisement spending of various candidates. Volunteers do not need to have any special training., a joint venture between YSU, The Vindicator, WYSU, The Beacon Journal and Kent State University and the University of Akron, is partnering with ProPublica for this project.

ProPublica, a national investigative reporting organization, launched Free the Files, an application tracking political ad filings from television stations in swing markets.

Steve Engelberg, managing editor of ProPublica, said Free the Files is an important effort to make information about the election process available to the public.

Engelberg, who is working with YSU journalism students on a reporting project, visited campus Oct. 10 to share ideas with students and to discuss the importance of investigative reporting.

Volunteers should meet in the lounge on the first floor of DeBartolo.

Parking can be arranged by e-mailing Alyssa Lenhoff, journalism director, at Please contact Lenhoff with any questions about the project.

Free the Files in these Ohio regions: