ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

Our Investigations

Segregation Now

The authors of the 1968 Fair Housing Act wanted to reverse decades of government-fostered segregation. But leaders from both parties failed to effectively enforce the law and integrate housing.

22 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Share Your Six Words on Race and Education in America

The Prescribers

Never-before-released government prescription records shows that some doctors and other health professionals across the country prescribe large quantities of drugs known to be potentially harmful, disorienting or addictive for their patients. And officials have done little to detect or deter these hazardous prescribing patterns.

28 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Even After Doctors Are Sanctioned or Arrested, Medicare Keeps Paying

Surveillance

ProPublica investigates the threats to privacy in an era of cellphones, data mining and cyberwar, including how citizens are digitally tracked by governments and corporations.

41 Stories in the Series. Latest:

The U.S. Government: Paying to Undermine Internet Security, Not to Fix It

Post Mortem

A year-long investigation into the nation’s 2,300 coroner and medical examiner offices uncovered a deeply dysfunctional system that quite literally buries its mistakes.

30 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Shake-Up Inside Forensic Credentialing Org

Buying Your Vote

A series of court rulings led to the creation of super PACs and an influx of “dark money” into politics, fundamentally changing how elections work. ProPublica is following the money and exploring campaign issues you won’t read about elsewhere.

111 Stories in the Series. Latest:

What Newly Released Docs Tell Us About the IRS and How It Handles Dark Money Groups

Internships

The number of internships in the United States has ballooned over the past few decades. But oversight and legal protection for unpaid interns hasn’t kept up.

20 Stories in the Series. Latest:

How the Labor Department Has Let Companies Off the Hook for Unpaid Internships

Obamacare and You

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, is the most significant health care overhaul in a generation. It seeks to decrease the number of people without health insurance and reform industry business practices. But the law’s rollout has been marred by glitches and political opposition. ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein has been tracking its implementation.

50 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Medicaid Programs Drowning in Backlog

Patient Safety

More than 1 million patients suffer harm each year while being treated in the U.S. health care system. Even more receive substandard care or costly overtreatment. Our ongoing investigation of patient safety features in-depth reporting, discussion and tools for patients.

46 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Beyond Ratings: More Tools Coming to Pick Your Doctor

Out of Order

The innocent can wind up in prison. The guilty can be set free. But New York City prosecutors who withhold evidence, tolerate false testimony or commit other abuses almost never see their careers damaged.

19 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Brooklyn Man Walks Out of Court, Cleared of Murder After 24 Years in Prison

College Debt

Total outstanding college debt is estimated at $1 trillion dollars – and with costs still soaring, the burden on students and their families shows no signs of abating. We’re examining how the complicated system of college debt is putting the squeeze on families.

20 Stories in the Series. Latest:

As Parents Struggle to Repay College Loans for Their Children, Taxpayers Also Stand to Lose

Sex and Gender

ProPublica’s Nina Martin reporting on American systems and institutions — from schools to hospitals to prisons — that fail or mistreat people on the basis of their gender or sexuality.

12 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Judge Throws Out Murder Charge in Mississippi Fetal Harm Case

Dollars for Doctors

ProPublica is tracking the financial ties between doctors and medical companies.

49 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Leaders of Teaching Hospitals Have Close Ties to Drug Companies, Study Shows

Fracking

Vast deposits of natural gas have brought a drilling boom across much of the country, but the technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing, is suspected of causing hundreds of cases of water contamination. Now environmentalists and lawmakers are pushing for closer oversight of the gas industry, which is pushing back.

155 Stories in the Series. Latest:

In Fracking Fight, a Worry About How Best to Measure Health Threats

Temp Land

Temp employment is climbing to record levels following the Great Recession. The system benefits brand-name companies but harms American workers through lost wages, high injury rates, few if any benefits, and little opportunity for advancement.

9 Stories in the Series. Latest:

California Considers Bill to Protect Temp Workers

Debt Inc.

Payday loans represent only one part of a high-cost lending industry that targets lower income consumers, trapping many in deep debt. When regulators and lawmakers try to crack down, lenders tweak their products to get around the law.

9 Stories in the Series. Latest:

High-Cost Lender World Finance Target of Federal Probe

Guns

We’re investigating the policy, politics and players around guns in America.

12 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Why Hospitals Are Failing Civilians Who Get PTSD

Overdose

About 150 Americans a year die by accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. The toll does not have to be so high.

10 Stories in the Series. Latest:

FDA Opens Review of Rules for Over-the-Counter Drugs, Including Acetaminophen

Life and Death in Assisted Living

More and more elderly Americans are choosing to spend their later years in assisted living facilities. But is this loosely regulated, multi-billion dollar industry putting seniors at risk?

12 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Assisted Living Giant Is Focus of Federal Probe

Finding Oscar

In 1982 amid Guatemala’s civil war, 20 army commandos invaded Dos Erres disguised as rebels. The squad members, or Kaibiles, killed more than 250 people. Only a handful survived. One, a 3-year-old boy, was abducted by a Kaibil officer and raised by his family. It took 30 years for Oscar Alfredo Ramírez Castañeda to learn the truth.

13 Stories in the Series. Latest:

A Commander of the Dos Erres Massacre Squad Gets 10 Years in Prison

After the Flood

More than 8 million Americans live in high-risk flood areas, and the number is expected to climb sharply as the climate changes. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, ProPublica is investigating the government’s response to disasters, and how coastal communities build and rebuild despite the threat.

10 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Sharpening the Government’s Blurry Maps

Presidential Pardons

White criminals seeking presidential pardons are nearly four times as likely to succeed as people of color, a ProPublica examination has found.

31 Stories in the Series. Latest:

President Obama Tells Clarence Aaron He Can Finally Go Home

The Wall Street Money Machine

As investors left the housing market in the run-up to the meltdown, Wall Street sliced up and repackaged troubled assets based on those shaky mortgages, often buying those new packages themselves. That created fake demand, hid the banks’ real exposure, increased their bonuses — and ultimately made the mortgage crisis worse.

43 Stories in the Series. Latest:

SEC Issues More Fines Over Magnetar Deals – and Appears to Move on

Law and Disorder

In the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, NOPD officers shot 11 civilians, five of whom died. Criminal cases have now been brought against some officers, and the federal government is investigating the actions of the police department, which conducted only cursory inquiries into the deadly use of force.

65 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Another Setback in Federal Investigation of New Orleans Police

The Drone War

U.S. counterterror operations have stretched beyond al-Qaida and the war in Afghanistan, with hundreds of drone strikes occurring in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. But many aspects of the effort are shrouded in secrecy – including casualty counts, who exactly the U.S. is targeting, and the administration’s legal justifications for the war.

15 Stories in the Series. Latest:

6 Months After Obama Promised to Divulge More on Drones, Here’s What We Still Don’t Know

Lost to History

Military leaders botched the job of recordkeeping in two of our most-protracted wars, robbing historians of firsthand accounts of the fighting and making it harder for veterans to prove combat injuries or heroics, a ProPublica-SeattleTimes investigation found.

8 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Army Says War Records Gap Is Real, Launches Recovery Effort

The Detention Dilemma

Big questions remain about the fates of the men whom the United States still holds prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. The evidence in many cases is tainted because it was obtained through harsh interrogations, and officials say some prisoners will be held indefinitely because they are too difficult to prosecute and too dangerous to release.

67 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Blacked Out: Reading Between the Lines as Gitmo Lawyers Talk Torture

Foreclosure Crisis

Systemic failures at the country’s banks and mortgage servicers have exacerbated the most severe foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression, making it extremely difficult for struggling homeowners to win a loan modification. Government efforts to limit the damage have fallen woefully short.

160 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Bank of America Lied to Homeowners and Rewarded Foreclosures, Former Employees Say

Pakistan’s Terror Connections

Ten Pakistani militants killed 166 people at multiple sites in Mumbai, India in 2008 in a three-day attack. The investigation centered on one of the most significant and mysterious figures to surface in a U.S. terror prosecution: David Coleman Headley.

31 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Terror Group Recruits From Pakistan’s 'Best and Brightest'

Omniscan

General Electric is in a liability fight over a rare disease that has been linked to dyes used in MRIs. Nearly all cases of the disease, nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, have involved people with kidney problems who used the dyes, but GE says there is no proof that its product, Omniscan, causes the crippling illness.

15 Stories in the Series. Latest:

GE Failed to Adequately Warn about Dangers of its MRI Dye, Jury Finds

Injection Wells

Injection wells used to dispose of the nation’s most toxic waste are showing increasing signs of stress as regulatory oversight falls short and scientific assumptions prove flawed.

10 Stories in the Series. Latest:

After a Powerful Lobbyist Intervenes, EPA Reverses Stance on Polluting Texas County’s Water

Redistricting

Opaque redistricting groups are being quietly bankrolled by corporations, unions and others to influence redistricting. They aim to help political allies—and in the process they’re hurting voters.

20 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Five Ways Courts Say Texas Discriminated Against Black and Latino Voters

Disposable Army

The U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan has relied heavily on civilian workers, to transport supplies, protect diplomats and other tasks. Though these contractors suffer the same physical and mental scars as troops, they return home without the same support network, often having to fight with insurers for the care they need.

37 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Iraq War Contractor Fined for Late Reports of 30 Casualties

Body Scanners

The Transportation Security Administration plans to install body scanners at nearly every airport security lane in the country by the end of 2014. Scientists have objected to one type of scanner because it uses X-rays which increase the risk of cancer. In an effort to detect explosives hidden under clothing, is the TSA jeopardizing passenger safety?

21 Stories in the Series. Latest:

TSA Removes X-Ray Body Scanners from Airports

Tainted Drywall

Foul air from Chinese-made drywall is causing a nightmare for thousands of homeowners, who have complained about severe respiratory ailments and corroded electronics. Several companies that handled the drywall knew there was a problem for two years but didn’t warn consumers or regulators.

34 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Home Builders Lobby Weakens Drywall Legislation

Freddie Mac

The taxpayer-owned mortgage giant made investments that profited if borrowers stayed stuck in high-interest loans while making it harder for them to get out of those loans.

12 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Unraveling the Freddie-Fannie Tangle

Free the Files

Outside groups are spending hundreds of millions to influence the coming elections. Help unlock outside spending by “freeing” political ad buys from television stations in swing markets.

32 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Crowdsourcing Campaign Spending: What We Learned From Free the Files

The Syria Documents

A trove of internal government documents shows the regime of Bashar al-Assad trying to get cash and choppers from Russia.

4 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Iraq Blocks Syria's Request to Fetch Combat Helicopters from Russia

Gulf Oil Spill

The 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest in U.S. history. ProPublica’s coverage focused on BP’s safety and cost-cutting record, the environmental and health effects of the spill, the efforts at cleanup, and how it affected workers and the communities in the region.

216 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Discussion: What Do EPA Sanctions Mean for BP’s Future?

Disaster Medicine

The tragedy in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and more recent worries about a flu epidemic have left doctors, ethicists and health officials grappling with a difficult question: In times of medical crises, which patients should be given access to lifesaving treatments if the number in need far exceeds the ability of the system to cope?

14 Stories in the Series. Latest:

New York’s Ongoing Blackout: Hospitals in Lower Manhattan

Eye on the Bailout

Responding to what has been called “The Great Recession,” Congress authorized virtually unlimited spending to rescue the financial system. Hundreds of billions of dollars have gone out the door, but much of it has already been returned. The government stands to lose the most not from the big banks, but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

250 Stories in the Series. Latest:

The Bailout: By The Actual Numbers

Brain Wars

While military statistics show that more than 115,000 soldiers have suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, unpublished research suggests that such injuries have gone undiagnosed in tens of thousands of troops. Even when the injuries are diagnosed, at one of the largest U.S. Army bases, soldiers have had to fight to get the appropriate care.

39 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Army Study Finds Troops Suffer Concussions in Training

Dialysis

Nearly 40 years after Congress created a unique entitlement for patients with kidney failure, U.S. death rates and per-patient costs are among the world’s highest while the biggest for-profit providers flourish.

14 Stories in the Series. Latest:

How are the Dialysis Centers Near You?

Eye on the Stimulus

The government’s stimulus package—nearly $800 billion in new spending and tax cuts—has funded an array of school, highway and other projects. But the money has been a challenge to spend both quickly and effectively, and it has sometimes been vulnerable to waste and fraud.

375 Stories in the Series. Latest:

How the Stimulus Revived the Electric Car

When Caregivers Harm

California nurses accused of serious wrongdoing have often been left free to practice for years while their cases were being investigated -- with patients unaware of the danger. And the problem goes beyond California: Many health workers who are disciplined in one state simply move to another and start with a clean license.

34 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Troubled Health-Care Staffing Chain Settles With Government for $150 Million

Nuclear Safety

We are tracking the nuclear disaster in Japan, and looking at questions about nuclear safety in the U.S. and elsewhere.

24 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Nuclear Safety: The Story So Far

Deadly Choices

After Hurricane Katrina, doctors and nurses at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans made the decision to inject some patients with lethal drug doses. Their actions have raised difficult questions about medical ethics in dealing with the most desperate of circumstances.

7 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Class-Action Suit Filed After Katrina Hospital Deaths Settled for $25 Million

For-Profit Schools

For-profit colleges offer educations to students who might not otherwise qualify for traditional four-year institutions. But the schools have been accused of using deceptive recruiting practices, and a much larger share of their students end up defaulting on their government-sponsored loans. The education levels of the schools is also under scrutiny, as is the success rate of their graduates. 

15 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Charter Schools Outsource Education to Management Firms, With Mixed Results

Alhurra

The U.S. taxpayer-funded, Arab-language network has been plagued by mismanagement and concerns over its content. Alhurra has cost more than $700 million since it was set up in 2004.

11 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Alhurra’s Effectiveness, Expense Criticized in New Senate Report

Eye on Health Care Reform

As competing health care bills wound their way through Congress, the differences and the rhetoric left many Americans confused about how the changes would affect them. Some personal stories provide a look at what can be expected for the insured, the uninsured and those in between.

15 Stories in the Series. Latest:

'Black Liquor,' the Sequel

The Magnetar Trade: How One Hedge Fund Helped Keep the Bubble Going

Get Updates

Stay on top of what we’re working on by subscribing to our email digest.

optional