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Investigative journalism is at risk. Many news organizations have increasingly come to see it as a luxury. Today’s investigative reporters lack resources: Time and budget constraints are curbing the ability of journalists not specifically designated “investigative” to do this kind of reporting in addition to their regular beats. This is therefore a moment when new models are necessary to carry forward some of the great work of journalism in the public interest that is such an integral part of self-government, and thus an important bulwark of our democracy.
The business crisis in publishing and — not unrelated — the revolution in publishing technology are having a number of wide-ranging effects. Among these are that the creation of original journalism in the public interest, and particularly the form that has come to be known as “investigative reporting,” is being squeezed down, and in some cases out.
ProPublica is led by Paul Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Stephen Engelberg, a former managing editor of The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon and former investigative editor of The New York Times, is ProPublica’s managing editor. Richard Tofel, the former assistant publisher of The Wall Street Journal, is general manager.
ProPublica is headquartered in Manhattan. Its establishment was announced in October 2007. Operations commenced in January 2008, and publishing began in June 2008.
The business crisis in publishing is making it increasingly difficult for the companies that control nearly all of our nation’s news organizations to afford—or at least to think they can afford—the sort of intensive, extensive and uncertain efforts that produce great investigative journalism.
It is true that the number and variety of publishing platforms are exploding in the Internet age. But very few of these entities are engaged in original reporting. In short, we face a situation in which sources of opinion are proliferating, but sources of facts on which those opinions are based are shrinking. The former phenomenon is almost certainly, on balance, a societal good; the latter is surely a problem.
More than any other journalistic form, investigative journalism can require a great deal of time and labor to do well—and because the “prospecting” necessary for such stories inevitably yields a substantial number of “dry holes,” i.e. stories that seem promising at first, but ultimately prove either less interesting or important than first thought, or even simply untrue and thus unpublishable.
Given these realities, many news organizations have increasingly come to see investigative journalism as a luxury that can be put aside in tough economic times. Thus, a 2005 survey by Arizona State University of the 100 largest U.S. daily newspapers showed that 37% had no full-time investigative reporters, a majority had two or fewer such reporters, and only 10% had four or more. Television networks and national magazines have similarly been shedding or shrinking investigative units. Moreover, at many media institutions, time and budget constraints are curbing the once significant ability of journalists not specifically designated “investigative” to do this kind of reporting in addition to handling their regular beats.
What We Do
We have created an independent newsroom, located in Manhattan and led by some of the nation’s most distinguished editors, and staffed at levels unprecedented for a non-profit organization. Indeed, we believe, this is the best-led and best-funded investigative journalism operation in the United States.
In the best traditions of American journalism in the public service, we seek to stimulate positive change. We uncover unsavory practices in order to stimulate reform. We do this in an entirely non-partisan and non-ideological manner, adhering to the strictest standards of journalistic impartiality. We won’t lobby. We won’t ally with politicians or advocacy groups. We look hard at the critical functions of business and of government, the two biggest centers of power, in areas ranging from product safety to securities fraud, from flaws in our system of criminal justice to practices that undermine fair elections. But we also focus on such institutions as unions, universities, hospitals, foundations and on the media when they constitute the strong exploiting or oppressing the weak, or when they are abusing the public trust.
We address one of the occasional past failings of investigative journalism by being persistent, by shining a light on inappropriate practices, by holding them up to public opprobrium and by continuing to do so until change comes about. In short, we stay with issues so long as there is more to be told, or there are more people to reach.
We strive to be fair. We give people and institutions that our reporting casts in an unfavorable light an opportunity to respond and make sincere and serious efforts to provide that opportunity before we publish. We listen to the response and adjust our reporting when appropriate. We aggressively edit every story we plan to publish, to assure its accuracy and fairness. If errors of fact or interpretation occur, we correct them quickly and clearly. We aim for a working culture that embraces all of these principles, and insist that they infuse all that we do.
How We Do It
We have a newsroom of 34 working journalists, all of them dedicated to investigative reporting on stories with significant potential for major impact.
How It Is Funded
The Sandler Foundation made a major, multi-year commitment to fund ProPublica at launch. Other philanthropic contributions have been received as well, and more are needed. Click here to donate.
From a philanthropic perspective it is also worth noting that our model assures an unusually high level of accountability for a non-profit. Our stories have to be sufficiently compelling to convince editors and producers to accord them space or time. As they do so consistently, donors will be able to be confident that professional standards are being met and maintained, and that important work is being undertaken.
Beginning in 2011, ProPublica also accepts advertising. And we are constantly exploring possible new revenue streams, although philanthropy, in large gifts and small, will continue to be our principal source of income for the foreseeable future.
In the summer of 2009, the independent, nonpartisan Center for Investigative Reporting launched a new reporting initiative called California Watch, the largest group of journalists dedicated to investigative reporting in the state.
The team at California Watch pursues in-depth, high-impact reporting on issues such as education, public safety, health care and the environment. Our reporters also produce stories that hold those in power accountable, while tracking government waste and the misspending of taxpayer resources. More
We place a major emphasis on solution-oriented reporting intended to have an impact on the quality of life for Californians and our communities. We engage the public by providing tools and resources.
We distribute our stories as widely as possible through collaborative relationships with local and regional news organizations and through social media. California Watch has established working relationships with California news organizations of all kinds — newspapers, online publications, television, radio, ethnic media and other new forms of media — to help localize and distribute our reporting. In 2010, we launched the California Watch Media Network, which includes some of the largest newspapers and TV stations in the state.
We have a unique relationship with KQED Public Radio, which shares the costs of a reporter working for both news organizations. We also publish unique, original content on our website that isn't available anywhere else. Many of our stories are translated into other languages — including Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese.
California Watch is supported by major grants from the James Irvine Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The California Endowment, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation. We have offices in the Bay Area, Sacramento and Southern California.
Founded in 1977, the Center for Investigative Reporting is the nation's oldest nonprofit investigative news organization
Awards and recognition
GlobalPost serves readers around the globe with in-depth multimedia reporting from more than 60 international correspondents. Our outstanding team of award-winning journalists includes more than 45 country-based correspondents, as well as beat reporters and analysts covering international business, energy, technology, health, environmental issues and a host of other specialties. Click here to see our growing list of recognized international correspondents and editors. More
Your newspaper and its website can be affiliated with this pioneering news organization. In an era when foreign reporting has suffered major cuts, and when most newspapers can no longer afford to place or send staff beyond U.S. borders, GlobalPost will be your international news partner. Your syndication partner benefits can include:
GlobalPost is the largest international news organization to launch exclusively on the web, from a U.S. base and perspective. With headquarters in Boston, an outstanding team of editors and correspondents around the globe, and with major financial backing, GlobalPost has the resources to offer intelligent, timely and contextual news coverage. We're not trying to be a wire service: we're working to preserve and grow the revered newspaper art of fine storytelling, in an all-electronic, multimedia environment. GlobalPost has already crafted partnerships with major television news organizations, and we are investing heavily in web photojournalism, video, graphic development and databases.
We offer more than the "who-what-when-where" of a breaking story, because we're experts in the "why." GlobalPost will provide resources you thought had been lost to budget-cutting over the years. We'll bring your readers and site visitors the artistry and musicianship that are hallmarks of telling a great story, the boutique exploration of a far-away culture with links to your hometown, the context and history of a region that help to define and explain today's conflict or reconciliation. We help you to connect your community to the world.
The price is market-based and extremely competitive: GlobalPost's syndication director will provide a custom quote for your organization.
You have access to content from our consumer website, and the right to publish content in your newspaper and on your site. Use as much or little as you see fit: GlobalPost requires no "story counts" or per-use fees.
Syndication partners have the right to custom-request correspondent stories for their market, at preferred rates. You will have preferred pricing and access for special project content and select pre-publication/premium-publication materials from GlobalPost.
TechCrunch is a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.
Founded in June 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites now reach over 12 million unique visitors and draw more than 37 million page views per month. The TechCrunch community includes more than 2 million friends and followers on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google and other social media. More
CrunchBase, TechCrunch's open database about start-up companies, people and investors, has become the leading statistical resource for technology companies and transactions.
The company hosts major conferences and events, including the Disrupt series, The Crunchies Awards, and various meet-ups worldwide serving as community platforms for industry conversation and collaboration.
Mashable is the largest independent news source dedicated to covering digital culture, social media and technology. Mashable reports on the importance of digital innovation and how it empowers and inspires people around the world.
Mashable’s 20 million monthly unique visitors and 4 million social media followers have become one of the most engaged online news communities. Numerous studies and leading publications have declared Mashable the most influential online news outlet and a must-read site. More
Mashable also syndicates its content to top publications including ABC News, CNN, Forbes, Metro, USA Today and Yahoo! News, amplifying its reach to many millions of additional readers each month.
Pete Cashmore founded Mashable in 2005 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His passion for sharing how web tools and social networks were transforming human interactions and reshaping cultures drove him to create what would become Mashable.
Mashable is headquartered in New York City, with an office in San Francisco. Mashable’s growing team can also be found across the United States, United Kingdom and in Eastern Europe.
Mashable’s Statement on Ethics
Mashable is committed to reporting on all companies and individuals fairly and without bias. Members of the editorial team are prohibited from writing about companies and/or individuals where they have personal relationships or financial interests. As part of the ethical guidelines, reporters and editors do not accept gifts, freebies or travel expenses from sources or subjects.
USA WEEKEND is the magazine that makes a difference. In print, more than 700 newspapers with a circulation of 22.6 million take us to 48 million readers every weekend. Online, we bring you our weekly articles, additional interviews, contests and other features. Through our Make A Difference Day area, we give you the tools to change your community for the better.
Our focus is on telling local and personal stories that explore the immediacy and relevance of climate impacts, adaptation measures, and preventive solutions. We break news with in-house, peer-reviewed scientific research as well as interactive graphics and reporting that localize the issues.
This fall, we will be launching an ambitious science journalism initiative to communicate the potential impacts of sea level rise for communities along the entire US coastline. Organizations that have broadcast, published, or otherwise used our content include PBS, The Weather Channel,The New York Times, NPR, The Washington Post, MSNBC, TIME.com, Scientific American, Parade, and National Geographic.
Generally, our content fits into four categories:
These stories can range from 300 word news briefs to 2,500 word, in-depth feature articles. They are designed to keep readers informed about important developments in the world of credit, but more importantly, we emphasize how these developments may practically impact the lives of ordinary citizens.
Credit.com experts answer specific questions or address particular problems in order to provide tangible, actionable help to people trying to successfully apply for or use credit, or interact with a financial institution.
3. Product Reviews
Credit.com experts provide independent, informed reviews of credit and credit related products. We read the fine print.
Credit.com experts provide expert analysis of topical issues relating to the world of credit and at times more broadly personal finance. These may be explanatory pieces that offer perspective and predictions relating to an important issue, or more hard hitting opinion-driven editorials.
About our Reporters and Experts
Gerri Detweiler: Personal Finance Expert. Gerri focuses on debt management issues. She has 24 years of experience as a credit educator and consumers advocate, and has authored or co-authored five books, and testified before Congress.
Beverly Harzog: Credit Card Expert. Beverly focuses on credit card issues and provides insight about current news that affects the credit card industry and consumers. She’s a nationally recognized expert on credit card issues and is the co-author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Person-to-Person Lending.
Adam Levin: Credit and Identity Expert and Chairman/Co-founder of Credit.com and Identity Theft 911. Adam’s experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.
Chris Maag: Reporter. Chris graduated with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and has reported for a number of publications including The New York Times, TIME magazine and Popular Mechanics. Chris reports on the latest credit news, and often focuses on the regulation of financial institutions and the use of personal information in the context of financial transactions and elsewhere.
Tom Quinn: Consumer Credit Expert. Formerly with FICO (Fair Isaac), MDS (now Experian) and Citibank, Tom has more than 20 years of experience in the credit industry and shares his insight into credit scoring, credit reporting and the credit granting industry. While he has a strong background in data analytics, he also has the ability to explain credit scoring in a way consumers understand.
Farnoosh Torabi: Money Expert and Personal Finance Contributor. Farnoosh is a nationally recognized author, expert and television host. Author of two books, blogger for MoneyWatch and Yahoo!, and regular guest on television programs including The Today Show’s Money 911.
Credit.com does not sell any of its own products or services, but our business is based on providing the tools consumers need to make informed financial decisions, and then giving them a trusted platform to make some of those decision. We are a credit advocate, resource, and guide. In addition to our free interactive tools, expert advice and news offerings, we help match our visitors to financial products that make most sense for them. It is all part of helping Credit.com users learn how to manage credit wisely and make smarter financial decisions to improve their quality of life.
As with any news organization, there is a strict dividing line between our editorial and sales teams. Whenever we write about or review a product that is available on Credit.com’s product pages, we disclose that relationship. These relationships NEVER determine which products we mention on our editorial pages nor does it result in ANY preferential editorial treatment. This is one of the things that makes Credit.com unique among other similar sites, which often tend only to write about products they market.
Credit.com’s In the News
Every day, Credit.com experts share their insight on personal finance issues with readers and reporters around the country. What makes us unique is that we are a both a news organization and a trusted resource for other news organizations. We publish stories about financial issues on our own website and on other highly trafficked websites such as ABC News, Yahoo!, Forbes.com and BusinessInsider.com. Our experts talk daily with reporters and editors across the country to about financial issues facing Americans.
Over the past 12 months, Credit.com has been quoted in over 3,000 news articles including in stories in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Associated Press network, Reuters, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, MSNBC and many more. Our experts were quoted in nearly all of the top 100 newspapers in the country, as well as in numerous other media outlets, websites and personal finance, political news and current events blogs. Credit.com experts also host two separate weekly radio programs. The group of experts also routinely make guest appearances on television news programs, from cable news outlets such as the Fox Business Network to local news stations such as WABC-TV New York, (the top local news affiliate station in the country) to nationally syndicated radio programs and networks – such as ABC News Radio and NewsProNet which provides stories to stations all over the country.
Recently, our credit card expert Beverly Harzog discovered and reported on two loopholes in the Card Act. That Credit.com story was picked up and reported on by numerous outlets — including by the Associated Press. The resulting AP story was featured in over 15 newspapers across the United States and distributed to approximately 2,500 other websites. Credit.com is routinely quoted in and featured by the AP.
Credit.com also breaks major news. On July 6, 2011, for example, Credit.com first reported that personal information belonging to 34,000 investment clients of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney had been lost, and possibly stolen, in a data breach. That reporting was distributed by Credit.com to major news outlets and blogs, resulting in pick up and accreditation from The Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Bloomberg, Reuters, Dow Jones, the AP, the NASDAQ, ABC News, Fox News and Marketwatch, to name a few. The stories were also reported on by hundreds of blogs and other media outlets.
Founded in 2007, Outdoor Hub has grown to become the leading online platform targeting the outdoor enthusiast lifestyle. The Company features mobile applications, a network of over 365 websites and offers a complete suite of services including traditional display ads; customized ad services including dashboard ads, page takeovers, masthead and bookends sponsorships, email blasts, content targeting, geo targeting and market level targeting; editorial content; optimization and reporting; and creative services.
Visited by more than 10 million car shoppers each month, Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible and easy-to-understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, Cars.com puts car buyers in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
Gadling is the world's top travel blog, written and edited by passionate travelers and writers. Covering fun, interesting, and relevant travel, Gadling is the premiere source for everything from general travel news to highly specific travel tips, from budget travel to adventure travel -- and for everything in between.
Our goal at Money Talk News is to help you reach your goals by telling stories that matter to you. Stories that offer specific advice on saving more, spending less, investing, and avoiding debt – without making your eyes glaze over.
We have fun telling these stories – we want you to have fun reading and watching them. More
Meet the team
We provide new opportunities for health care journalists to produce in-depth work and a new vehicle to distribute it through collaborations with major news organizations and on this website. More
KHN is an editorially-independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit private operating foundation, based in Menlo Park, Calif., dedicated to producing and communicating the best possible analysis and information on health issues.
Read a message from Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, about KHN.
KHN's coverage of aging and long term care issues is supported by a grant from The SCAN Foundation, based in Long Beach, Calif. The SCAN Foundation is an independent nonprofit foundation dedicated to advancing a sustainable continuum of quality care for seniors that integrates medical treatment and human services with the greatest likelihood of a healthy, independent life.
KHN accepts no advertising and all original content is available to partner news organizations and the public free of charge. Neither KHN nor the Kaiser Family Foundation is affiliated with the health insurance company Kaiser Permanente. Learn more about our Editorial Policy.
Laurie McGinley, Editor In Chief, spent 27 years at The Wall Street Journal, most recently as the deputy bureau chief for global economics. She was a national health care policy correspondent and was part of a reporting team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1997 for AIDS coverage.
Peggy Girshman, Executive Editor, Online, is a former managing editor of National Public Radio, an Executive Editor at Congressional Quarterly and also worked as a producer for Dateline NBC and several PBS series. She has won two Peabody Awards for health policy coverage.
John Fairhall, Executive Editor, News, was a reporter and editor at the Baltimore Sun for 27 years. As an assistant managing editor, he oversaw health and science coverage as well as projects.
Read more about KHN Staff
NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
NATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
KHN has a distinguished National Advisory Committee who include:
Spot.Us is a nonprofit project to pioneer “community powered reporting.”
Through Spot.Us the public can commission journalists to do reporting on important and perhaps overlooked topics. Contributions are tax deductible and we partner with news organizations to distribute content under appropriate licenses. More
Community members can also take a survey from our sponsors, when available, to support the story of their choice at no cost. Such a deal!
We practice the "TAO of Journalism" (Transparency, Accountability, and Openness). To our knowledge Spot.Us is the only open source fundraising platform. You can learn more about us at our press page. Or check out our success stories and partners page. Got questions, try the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Center on the States. Since 1999, it has reported and analyzed trends in state policy.
Stateline is committed to the highest standards of journalistic excellence and objectivity. Its team of veteran journalists combine original reporting with a roundup of the latest news from sources around the country.