On Oct. 8, we published an investigation examining how a judicial opinion in a pivotal lawsuit brought by a Guantanamo detainee vanished, only to be replaced weeks later by an entirely different opinion. At the center of our reporting are two documents representing separate versions of that same opinion: the original opinion written by Judge Henry H. Kennedy, and a second opinion quietly put in the original's place more than a month later.
Why are there two opinions? As reporter Dafna Linzer explains, redactions that were supposed to be made in the original opinion never were. Once government security officials, who are responsible for reviewing and redacting classified information from sensitive cases, discovered the error, the decision was quickly removed from the court file. In Judge Kennedy’s courtroom four days later, the Justice Department refused to have the opinion redacted and re-released. With the detainee, Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman, slated for indefinite detention, the stakes were high. Officials did not want to risk that those who had seen the original opinion would know exactly what the government had meant to keep classified.
On Wednesday, we launched an interactive news application to help readers understand the cross-owned nature of Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs) in 2006-2007. This cross-ownership helped inflate the bubble, and ultimately made the financial crisis worse.
We received a list of cross-owned CDOs as a result of a study ProPublica commissioned from Thetica, a consulting company in New York. It consisted of a list of CDOs, the banks that sponsored them, the CDO managers who managed them, and an enumerated list of other CDOs in which it had both sold and bought a stake. Reporters Jake Bernstein and Jesse Eisinger had already used the data in their story, Banks’ Self-Dealing Super-Charged Financial Crisis.
See which CDOs exchanged pieces with other CDOs through our interactive feature that reveals the incestuous nature of Wall Street’s CDO business.
Since the day we launched, ProPublica has encouraged people to republish our stories for free. We even license our stories under Creative Commons (CC). However, in the past we've had trouble knowing precisely which stories had been republished where, and we had no way of knowing how many people were reading our stories on sites that republished them under our CC license.
Shortly after the redesign of our site, we started working on a system that would help us solve this problem. When we found out that Jeremy Ashkenas, a developer at DocumentCloud, was working on a similar problem, we joined forces, and finished work on a lightweight stats tracker, which we are open sourcing today.
World, meet Pixel Ping.
Today we are introducing our Nerd Blog, a place to talk about what programmer-journalists at ProPublica are working on, announce newly-launched news applications, and to hear from technically-minded readers, as well as our fellow nerdy journalists. We’re going to be writing about each of our projects as we release them, and flagging open source tools we’ve found useful.
So what the heck is a “news application”? It’s an interactive web page that uses software instead of words and pictures to do journalism.
In the last two years of the boom, CDOs created by one bank commonly purchased slices of other CDOs created by the same bank.
Follow the damage claims from the Gulf Oil Spill paid by HP.
Our frequently updated database tracks every dollar and every bailout recipient. Check out our scorecard to see where the spending stands.
Using results from a questionnaire we did with American Public Media’s Public Insight Network, we examined how the proposed health care reforms will actually affect people facing common health care coverage situations.
How did Magnetar’s deals in subprime mortgage securities compare to the overall market’s?
Compare the Senate version of the 2010 Health Care overhaul bill with the final bill.
How easy does your state make it to investigate licensed nurses online?
How is the $75 billion home mortgage foreclosure prevention program performing?
Just how fast are federal agencies getting stimulus money out the door?
Tracking how long state unemployment insurance trust funds will hold up.
How much did your congressman’s Leadership PAC raise, and where did that money go?
What companies in your area have received highway stimulus funds?
Use our video skimmer tool to navigate through the testimony of Ronald Boline, on private contractors in Iraq.
Which foreign countries are lobbying the U.S. Congress, and for what purposes? In partnership with the Sunlight Foundation.
How fast and where is stimulus money being spent?
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.
Use ProPublica's data -- cleaned, categorized and often created from multiple sources -- in your reporting and research.