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New website aims to be Appalachia's own WikiLeaks

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Associated Press

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - A handful of freelance journalists and computer programmers are launching Appalachia's version of WikiLeaks, a website where whistle blowers can anonymously share documents.

Co-founder Jim Tobias says Honest Appalachia debuts Tuesday. He says government and corporate whistleblowers can post documents on it without revealing their own identities.

A team of reporters and programmers will verify the legitimacy of the documents before they're publicly accessible. Tobias says Honest Appalachia will also try to collaborate with journalists to turn some documents into news stories.

Honest Appalachia will focus its initial outreach efforts on seven states: West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina.

The Sunlight Foundation, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit committed to transparency and accountability in government, provided a $5,000 grant to get the project started.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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