About the Local Reporting Network

Applications are now open for Local Reporting Network proposals from public broadcasting organizations.

ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network began in January 2018 after our staff thought about how we could help to remedy the lack of investigative reporting at the local level. Many local news organizations are facing enormous financial strain and cutbacks; they want to do deeper accountability coverage but simply don’t have the resources. That issue is exacerbated by the fact that the strongest accountability reporting these days often relies on a mix of specialized skills that can be scarce in local newsrooms, including data, research, design and social media.

Our partners’ stories have made a real difference in their communities, and their work has been recognized nationally with prestigious journalism awards. One of our partners, the Anchorage Daily News, won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for our collaboration that examined sexual violence in Alaska.

We now partner with more than 20 newsrooms across the country, and we will be accepting new applications in the coming months. You can learn more about our previous work below. Sign up here to get updates.

Here’s information on how to apply.

Projects Underway and Launching Soon

Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage, Alaska
Reporter: Kyle Hopkins

Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona
Reporter: Amy Silverman

Arizona Republic
Phoenix, Arizona
Reporter: Alden Woods

Asbury Park Press
Neptune, New Jersey
Reporter: Andrew Ford

Bay City News Foundation
Oakland, California
Reporter: Scott Morris

The Business Journal
Youngstown, Ohio
Reporter: Dan O’Brien

Capital Gazette
Annapolis, Maryland
Reporter: Danielle Ohl

The Daily Herald
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Reporter: David Bernstein

The Desert Sun
Palm Springs, California
Reporter: Janet Wilson

The Frontier
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Reporter: Brianna Bailey

Georgia Health News
Atlanta, Geogia
Reporter: Max Blau

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Honolulu, Hawaii
Reporter: Rob Perez

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Honolulu, Hawaii
Reporter: Sophie Cocke

Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
Louisville, Kentucky
Reporter: R.G. Dunlop

Miami Herald
Miami, Florida
Reporter: Carol Marbin Miller

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism
Memphis, Tennessee
Reporter: Wendi C. Thomas

New Mexico In Depth
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reporter: Bryant Furlow

The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun
Raleigh, North Carolina
Reporter: Carli Brousseau

Oregon Public Broadcasting
Portland, Oregon
Reporter: Tony Schick

Palm Beach Post
Palm Beach, Florida
Reporter: Lulu Ramadan

The Philadelphia Inquirer and Spotlight PA
Philadelphia and Harrisburg, PA
Reporter: Bob Fernandez

Pine Tree Watch
Hallowell, Maine
Reporter: Samantha Hogan

Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond, Virginia
Reporter: Patrick Wilson

WBEZ
Chicago, Illinois
Reporter: Shannon Heffernan

Previous Partners and Projects

2019

Unchecked Power: The Extraordinary Power of Alabama Sheriffs
Reckon by AL.com
Birmingham, Alabama
Reporter: Connor Sheets

Invisible Walls: Connecticut’s Separate and Unequal Housing
Connecticut Mirror
Hartford, Connecticut
Reporter: Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

The Real Bosses of New Jersey: How Unelected Officials Run Your Government
WNYC
New York, New York
Reporter: Nancy Solomon

The Untouchables: Investigating South Carolina’s Judges
The Post and Courier
Charleston, South Carolina
Reporter: Joseph Cranney

Overcorrection: Crisis in California Jails
The Sacramento Bee
Sacramento, California
Reporter: Jason Pohl

Locked Down: An Investigation of Mississippi’s Prisons
Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting
Jackson, Mississippi
Reporter: Jerry Mitchell

A 911 Emergency: Rhode Island’s Deadly 911 Flaws
The Public’s Radio
Providence, Rhode Island
Reporter: Lynn Arditi

Lawless: Sexual Violence in Alaska
Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage, Alaska
Reporter: Kyle Hopkins

Profiting From the Poor: Inside Memphis’ Debt Machine
MLK50
Memphis, Tennessee
Reporter: Wendi C. Thomas

Miswired: How Kentucky Missed the Technology Revolution
Louisville Courier-Journal
Louisville, Kentucky
Reporter: Alfred Miller

Big Jim: West Virginia’s Conflicted Governor
Charleston Gazette-Mail
Charleston, West Virginia
Reporter: Ken Ward Jr.

Polluter’s Paradise: Environmental Impact in Louisiana
The New Orleans Advocate/The Times-Picayune
New Orleans, Louisiana
Reporter: Joan Meiners

Campus Complicity: Faculty Sexual Misconduct in Illinois
NPR Illinois
Springfield, Illinois
Reporter: Rachel Otwell

2018

Accused in Elkhart: Justice in an Indiana County
South Bend Tribune
South Bend, Indiana
Reporter: Christian Sheckler

Louisiana’s Ethical Swamp: Lawmakers’ Conflicts of Interest
The New Orleans Advocate
New Orleans, Louisiana
Reporter: Rebekah Allen

A Sick System: Repeat Attacks After Pleading Insanity
The Malheur Enterprise Malheur County, Oregon
Reporter: Jayme Fraser

The New Power Brokers: West Virginia’s Natural Gas Industry
Charleston Gazette-Mail
Charleston, West Virginia
Reporter: Ken Ward Jr.

Half Life: Nuke Lab Workers Getting Sick
Santa Fe New Mexican
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Reporter: Rebecca Moss

HUD’s House of Cards: Public Housing Failures
The Southern Illinoisan
Carbondale, Illinois
Reporter: Molly Parker

Trauma After Tragedy: PTSD in First Responders
WMFE
Orlando, Florida
Reporter: Abe Aboraya

Awards and Impact

The impact of our Local Reporting Network has been extraordinary.

The Anchorage Daily News, in a first-of-its-kind investigation, found that one in three communities in Alaska has no local law enforcement: no state troopers to stop an active shooter, no village police officers to break up family fights, not even untrained city or tribal cops to patrol the streets. Following that coverage, U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr visited Alaska and later declared a state of emergency, releasing millions in federal funds to devote to the problem.

MLK50, a nonprofit news organization in Memphis, Tennessee, reported on how the area’s largest hospital system sued and garnished the wages of thousands of poor patients, including its own employees, for unpaid medical debts. The hospital subsequently curtailed its lawsuits against patients for unpaid medical debts, dramatically expanded its financial assistance policy for hospital care and raised the minimum wage it pays employees.

In Indiana, the South Bend Tribune, working with ProPublica senior reporter Ken Armstrong, reported in 2018 on how police officers in Elkhart beat a handcuffed man and about how the police chief promoted officers despite records of discipline. As a result of those articles, the police chief was forced to resign, an independent investigation was launched and the officers involved in the beating were criminally charged. The mayor of Elkhart also abandoned his reelection effort.

In Rhode Island, The Public’s Radio reported how 911 call takers were not trained to provide CPR instructions by phone and about people who died after those call takers failed to give proper guidance. The state legislature added money for training to the state budget.

And WNYC reported on how a company in Camden, New Jersey, provided a false answer on an application for tax breaks, leading the state to freeze the tax break pending further investigation.

You can find more information on the impact section of our website

Our Local Reporting Network collaborations have received numerous national journalism honors, including the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. Below is a list of those awards:

The Advocate

  • Louisiana Press Association, Best investigative reporting, Gibbs Adams Award, first place Rebekah Allen, Andrea Gallo, ProPublica, 6/19
  • Society for News Design Bronze Medal for use of maps (Louisiana Toxic Air), 2/20

Anchorage Daily News

  • John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice Journalism (series), 1/20
  • Goldsmith Prize finalist for investigative reporting from the Kennedy School of Government, 2/20
  • Scripps Howard Foundation Award for Community Journalism, 3/20
  • Scripps Howard Foundation, Impact Award, 4/20
  • Paul Tobenkin Memorial Award, Columbia Journalism School, 4/20
  • Al Nakkula Award for police reporting, co-sponsored by the Denver Press Club and the University of Colorado Boulder's College of Media, Communication and Information, 4/20
  • Frank A. Blethen Award for Local Accountability Reporting-Small, News Leaders Association, 4/20
  • The Michael Kelly Award finalist, 4/20
  • Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service Journalism (Daily Circulation of 1-100,000), 6/20

Charleston Gazette-Mail

  • Scripps Howard Award finalist for environmental journalism, 2/19
  • Society for News Design Silver Medal for news features and Bronze Medals for coverage, multimedia and maps (3 awards), 2/19
  • Malofiej International Infographics Awards Silver Medal, features (Powerless), 3/19
  • West Virginia Press Association first place for governmental reporting (story on House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw and his ties to the natural gas industry), 8/19
  • West Virginia Press Association first place for best legal affairs reporting (story on court fights between residents and companies over natural gas royalties), 8/19
  • West Virginia Press Association second place for best in-depth or investigative reporting (story on the similarities between West Virginia’s relationship with the coal and natural gas industries), 8/19
  • West Virginia Press Association second place for legal affairs reporting (story on Fayette County leaders’ attempts to limit drilling in the county), 8/19
  • Online News Association award for explanatory reporting (Powerless), 8/19
  • National Magazine Award finalist for digital innovation (A Guide to Every Permitted Natural Gas Well in West Virginia), 2/20

Connecticut Mirror

  • New England Better Newspaper Competition first place for investigative/enterprise reporting, 2/20

MLK50: Justice Through Journalism

  • Scripps Howard Foundation Award finalist for Community Journalism, 2/20
  • Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting, 3/20
  • Awards for Excellence in Health Care Journalism, Business Reporting, first place, 3/20
  • IRE Award, Print/Online Division I winner, 4/20

NPR Illinois

  • Illinois Associated Press Broadcasters Association Awards, Best Investigative Report: first place, Radio II/Local Radio

The Public’s Radio

  • Scripps Howard Foundation Award for Radio/Podcast, 3/20
  • IRE Award finalist, Radio/Audio small, 4/20

Reckon by AL.com

  • National Headliners Award third place for health, medical and science writing, 4/20
  • Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service Journalism (Non-Daily Publication), 6/20
  • Society of Professional Journalists’ Green Eyeshade Awards second place for non-deadline reporting/large dailies, 6/20

Sacramento Bee

  • Society for News Design Silver Medal for use of animation, 2/20
  • California Journalism Awards, first place for investigative reporting (dailies: 50,001 and over), 3/20

Santa Fe New Mexican

  • Association of Health Care Journalists Awards for Excellence in Health Care Coverage first place for public health coverage, 3/19
  • National Headliner Award first place in television/environmental (with InvestigateTV), 4/19

South Bend Tribune

  • Goldsmith Prize finalist for investigative reporting from the Kennedy School of Government, 2/19
  • Society for News Design Bronze Medals for social media, 2/19
  • News Leaders Association Frank Blethen Award for Local Accountability Reporting (small) finalist, 3/19
  • Indiana Society of Professional Journalists Story of the Year, 4/19
  • Indiana Associated Press Media Awards second place for investigative reporting, 5/19
  • Indiana Associated Press Media Awards first place for enterprise reporting, 5/19
  • Indiana Associated Press Media Awards first place for Best Multimedia Storytelling, 5/19

The Southern Illinoisan

  • Illinois Associated Press Media Awards first place for investigative reporting, 3/19
  • Illinois Press Association Knight Chair Award for Sustained Investigative Journalism and Award for News Reporting, first place (2 awards), 5/19

WMFE

  • Florida Associated Press Professional Broadcasters, Second place investigative 4/19

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