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Editor’s Note: Encyclo has not been regularly updated since August 2014, so information posted here is likely to be out of date and may be no longer accurate. It’s best used as a snapshot of the media landscape at that point in time.

is a prominent American nonprofit news organization that produces investigative journalism.

ProPublica was founded by former Wall Street Journal editor Paul Steiger and San Francisco-area billionaires and in 2007 and launched shortly thereafter. It is based in New York and had as of 2012.

Much of ProPublica’s funding has been , which pledged ; other foundations and individuals have provided smaller amounts. The organization received a $1.9 million grant from the Knight Foundation in 2012 to expand its data journalism operation, including the ,which allows news programmers to use the ProPublica offices to work on data projects. It also received a from the MacArthur Foundation in 2014. ProPublica employed in 2012, and in 2011 it spent . That year, for the first time, it from sources outside of the Sandlers. By 2012, the had reached 62%.

Though it has a regularly updated and a presence in social media, ProPublica distributes its stories primarily by offering them to traditional news organizations for free. It also releases its stories through a , and, in 2012, began . As of early 2011, ProPublica has worked with more than 100  publishing partners, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, The Guardian, Frontline, and Upworthy. In some collaborations, ProPublica and the news organization . In , news organizations get pre-publication access to ProPublica’s apps. In another , the two organizations used volunteers to search political ad spending records. ProPublica also in reporting on the NSA documents leaked in 2013 by Edward Snowden.

ProPublica in 2011, its second, for coverage of questionable practices on Wall Street. It was the first time the prize was awarded for stories published only online, not in print. ProPublica’s in 2010 was shared with The New York Times for a on a New Orleans hospital where 45 patients died in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

In 2009, journalists from ProPublica and The New York Times founded , a nonprofit open-source document publishing site, funded through a Knight News Challenge grant. ProPublica also runs , a site that for changes.

ProPublica has used its resources to help other news organizations undertake similar investigative efforts, creating “reporting recipes” for other organizations, showing journalists and connecting struggling homeowners with local journalists. It also runs a that sells datasets used in its reporting and plans to include in the store.

ProPublica has emphasized and participatory journalism, in its reporting efforts. It hired Amanda Michel, who ran The Huffington Post’s Off The Bus citizen journalism project, to of . Michel launched the volunteer in May 2009, putting it to work using federal stimulus money. In June 2011, ProPublica launched #MuckReads, a socially edited collection of investigative journalism pieces. In 2012, the site to report on patient safety issues, and in 2013, it launched a Reddit channel for suggesting stories.

The Sandlers have long been involved in , which initially raised some about whether their politics would influence ProPublica. The organization has also about its top editors’ and executives’ salaries, of which topped $300,000 in 2009.

Recent AndroidForMobile Lab coverage:
Feb. 21, 2019 / Christine Schmidt
How News 12 is working with ProPublica’s Documenting Hate database to track local hate crimes — Ten years in, ProPublica is basically synonymous with “sustainable nonprofit journalism” and “collaborations.” Many news nonprofits use collaborations in part to get their names out there, but Pro...
Feb. 19, 2019 / Laura Hazard Owen
“Rebuilding a local news ecosystem”: Knight pledges $300 million to local news, free speech, and media literacy organizations — The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation will provide a whopping $300 million over five years to organizations including the American Journalism Project, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and and ProPublica...
Jan. 31, 2019 / Christine Schmidt
Facebook roadblocks ProPublica’s ad transparency tool (gee, what a good time for a safe harbor) — In a year and a half, ProPublica collected 100,000 Facebook ads — and to whom they were targeted — through a browser extension installed by 16,000 volunteers. Its reporters used the tool to report on the targeting st...
Oct. 24, 2018 / Christine Schmidt
A referendum on media experiments? Here’s what news organizations are toying with in the 2018 election cycle — The needle is back. It’s okay to shudder. We’re rapidly approaching the first major election since American media largely flopped (The New York Times’ election-night needle included) in adequately repor...
Oct. 12, 2018 / Rachel Glickhouse
Chasing leads and herding cats: How journalism’s latest job title — partner manager — works in ProPublica’s newsroom — In this ever-changing industry, new roles are emerging that redefine how we do journalism: audience engagement director, social newsgathering reporter, Snapchat video producer. At ProPublica, I’ve been part of deve...

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Primary author: Mark Coddington. Main text last updated: August 14, 2014.
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The Boston Globe is a leading U.S. metro newspaper and the oldest and largest daily in Boston. The Globe is owned by Boston billionaire John Henry, who bought it in 2013. It is renowned in particular for its sports journalism, and in the early 2000s, the paper played a key role in exposing the sexual abuse scandal among…

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Encyclo is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
The AndroidForMobile Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age.