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The ProPublica Nerd Blog

The ProPublica Pair Programming Project

The ProPublica Pair Programming Project - or P5 - is a program to open the ProPublica News Apps desk to newsroom coders who want to work on a ProPublica project, or to finish a project of their own, from the ProPublica offices in New York.

Knight Foundation Grant to Support ProPublica’s News Applications Desk

We’re very pleased to announce that the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has made a grant to support ProPublica’s news applications desk. The grant will support and enhance our ongoing efforts in what we call “news applications,” which we believe represent an emerging discipline within journalism.

Interactive: How Obama Drone Death Claims Stack Up

Obama administration assertions about the number of civilians killed by U.S. drone strikes have varied widely. We charted every claim we could find.

How a Map That Wasn’t a Map Became a Map

Where Are the Foreclosure Deal Millions Going in Your State?

We contacted every state to see how they are spending the money they received from the foreclosure settlement. Here’s the most comprehensive breakdown available anywhere.

Murdoch’s Circle: The Growing News International Scandal

From phone hacking to bribery, the corruption at News International has involved many players—increasingly, ones close to Rupert Murdoch. We’ve mapped out the players involved in this growing debacle, organized by their proximity to Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and other senior staff.

Timeline: How Obama Compares to Bush on Torture, Surveillance and Detention

As the terrain and debate around national security shifts, we took a look back at some of the most controversial elements of George W. Bush’s national security policy, to see how much has changed under Obama – and how much has stayed the same.

Latest News Corp. Investigation Emails

Report your findings in over 160 News Corp. internal emails released today

Updated: Dialysis Facility Tracker

ProPublica obtained data about the performance of more than 5,000 U.S. dialysis clinics. Our Dialysis Facility Tracker allows patients to compare clinics on such measures as patient survival, infection control, hospitalization rates and transplant rates.

Useful Code Snippets

Open Source code doesn’t always come in big complex packages. At ProPublica we sometimes share small, simple snippets of using GitHub “Gists.” These Gists rarely have documentation and don’t even always have names, but they can be super-useful. Here are some we’ve shared over the past few years.

A Tangled Web: Who’s Making Money From All This Campaign Spending?

Many have been detailing the vast sums being raised by the presidential candidates and the super PACs supporting them. But where are all those millions being spent?

Untangling a Web of FEC Data

Our Tangled Web graphic shows the 200 biggest recipients of expenditure money from the five major presidential campaigns (Gingrich, Obama, Paul, Romney and Santorum), as well as from major super PACs, from around the middle of 2011 through February, 2012.

Introducing StateFace

Today we released a font that you can use to include small state map shapes as a design element in a web application. It’s called StateFace.

Some Thoughts on Timelines

Over the past few weeks we've done a lot of thinking about timelines. We made one that recounted the history of FDA fines levied on the Red Cross, another one that traced the changing government approach to fracking, and finally one that described the day-by-day unfolding of the Komen/Planned Parenthood debacle. Each was pretty different and went through multiple iterations before arriving at its final form. Here's the story behind each one -- the thinking, planning, and building of each timeline, complete with some of the approaches we rejected along the way.

Sealing Loose Lips: Charting Obama’s Crackdown on National Security Leaks

A timeline of the Obama administration’s aggressive campaign against government leakers.

Announcing Simpler Tiles

When Are 190 Emails Like Six Emails?

On Tuesday we published a graphic that looks at six variations of a single email sent out by the Obama re-election campaign last Thursday night.

This all started when fellow news nerd Dan Sinker got an email from the campaign on the same night his wife did and noticed that although they were both apparently from the same person at the campaign — Julianna Smoot — the e-mails had subtle differences. So Dan set up a Google form and asked his Twitter followers to send in their own examples of the “Smoot Email.”

At ProPublica, we’d been wanting to dig more deeply into how “big campaign data” works so we struck a deal with Dan: He’d share his database with us and we’d help analyze and visualize it.

Of course, it was far from a valid sample, but we thought analyzing the data would yield interesting observations if not statistically significant conclusions.

What the Frack is in That Water?

Environmentalists have repeatedly pressed regulators to compel oil and gas companies to report what chemicals they use in the drilling and fracking process. No one knows the exact makeup of the frack mixture or drilling muds, but this list breaks down the main ingredients revealed so far.

Message Machine: Reverse Engineering an Obama Email Campaign

Campaigns are increasingly tailoring their messages—and their funding requests—using massive databases of personal information about potential voters. Here are six variations of a Thursday night message from the Obama campaign, based on emails submitted by 190 recipients across the country.

Ponying Up: How Much Have Big Banks Been Docked for the Financial Crisis?

Nearly four years after the financial crisis, settlements with the big players on Wall Street keep coming out, one after the other. It can be hard to keep track of it all. So who’s been hit, with what, and for how much in total?

The News Apps Team

Hack With Us

ProPublica hosts newsroom developers -- or developers who want to see what it's like to work in news -- for 3-5 day job shadowing residencies called the ProPublica Pair Programming Project, or P5.

Download Our Data

Use ProPublica's data -- cleaned, categorized and often created from multiple sources -- in your reporting and research.

Use Our Code

Explore Our Work