About the Local Reporting Network

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

Anchorage Daily News
Anchorage, Alaska
Reporter: Kyle Hopkins

The Chicago Tribune
Chicago, Illinois
Reporter: Jennifer Smith Richards

The City
New York, New York
Reporter: Abigail Kramer

Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Honolulu, Hawaii
Reporter: Rob Perez

Mountain State Spotlight
West Virginia
Reporter: Ken Ward

Nashville Public Radio
Nashville, Tennessee
Reporter: Meribah Knight

The New Bedford Light
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Reporter: Will Sennott

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

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Tupelo, Mississippi
Reporter: Caleb Bedillion

Open Vallejo
Vallejo, California
Reporter: Laurence Du Sault

Oregon Public Broadcasting
Portland, Oregon
Reporter: Tony Schick

Outlier Media
Detroit, Michigan
Reporter: Sarah Alvarez

The Press of Atlantic City
Atlantic City, New Jersey
Reporter: Alison Burdo

Rocky Mountain PBS
Denver, Colorado
Reporter: Brittany Freeman

Searchlight New Mexico
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Reporter: Ed Williams

The Southern Illinoisian
Carbondale, Illinois
Reporter: Molly Parker

Sun Herald
Biloxi, Mississippi
Reporter: Anita Lee

The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate
New Orleans, Louisiana
Reporter: Richard A. Webster

Previous Partners and Projects

2021

In San Francisco, Hundreds of Homes for the Homeless Sit Vacant San Francisco Public Press
San Francisco, California
Reporter: Nuala Bishari

Schoolyard Sheriffs: Policing Kids in Antelope Valley Schools
KPCC/LAist
Los Angeles, California
Reporter: Emily Elena Dugdale 

In Alaska, Commercial Aviation Is a Lifeline. The State Is Also Home to a Growing Share of the Country’s Deadly Crashes.
KUCB and CoastAlaska
Unalaska, Alaska
Reporter: Zoë Sobel

Black Snow: Big Sugar’s Burning Problem
Palm Beach Post
Palm Beach, Florida
Reporter: Lulu Ramadan

Bittersweet: How America’s Richest School Spends Its Wealth
The Philadelphia Inquirer and Spotlight PA
Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Reporter: Bob Fernandez

The Way Prisoners Flag Guard Abuse, Inadequate Health Care and Unsanitary Conditions Is Broken
WBEZ
Chicago, Illinois
Reporter: Shannon Heffernan

Unwatched: A Louisiana Law Department That Polices Itself
WRKF and WWNO
Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana
Reporter: Richard Webster 

2020

State of Denial: Inside Arizona’s Division of Developmental Disabilities
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona
Reporter: Amy Silverman

Gilded Badges: How New Jersey Cops Profit From Police Unions and Avoid Accountability
Asbury Park Press
Neptune, New Jersey
Reporter: Andrew Ford

Pollution Profiteers: Inside California’s Toxic Hauling Industry
Bay City News Foundation
Oakland, California
Reporter: Scott Morris

Oil Companies Are Profiting From Illegal Spills. And California Lets Them.
The Desert Sun
Palm Springs, California
Reporter: Janet Wilson

Sunken Costs: Coal Ash in Georgia
Georgia Health News
Atlanta, Georgia
Reporter: Max Blau

Paradise Lost: Hawaii’s Disappearing Beaches
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Honolulu, Hawaii
Reporter: Sophie Cocke

Defenseless: Investigating the Only State Without Public Defenders
The Maine Monitor
Hallowell, Maine
Reporter: Samantha Hogan

Birth Rights: Investigating Florida’s NICA Program
Miami Herald
Miami, Florida
Reporter: Carol Marbin Miller

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

The Two Hospitals Have Similar Infant Death Rates — Until You Look at Extremely Premature Babies
New Mexico In Depth
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Reporter: Bryant Furlow

In a Small Town, a Battle for Racial Justice Confronts a Bloody Past and an Uncertain Future
The News & Observer and The Herald-Sun
Raleigh, North Carolina
Reporter: Carli Brosseau

Power Play: The Influence of Virginia’s Biggest Utility
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Richmond, Virginia
Reporter: Patrick Wilson

2019

Lessons Lost: How Federal Schools Are Failing Native American Students
Arizona Republic
Phoenix, Arizona
Reporter: Alden Woods

Desperation Town: How Youngstown Gave Itself Away for the Promise of Jobs
The Business Journal
Youngstown, Ohio
Reporter: Dan O’Brien

She Was Sued Over Rent She Didn’t Owe. It Took Seven Court Dates to Prove She Was Right.
Capital Gazette
Annapolis, Maryland
Reporter: Danielle Ohl

At a Great Price: The True Cost of the Sears Headquarters Deal
The Daily Herald
Arlington Heights, Illinois
Reporter: David Bernstein

Critical Condition: Investigating the Business of Oklahoma’s Rural Hospitals
The Frontier
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Reporter: Brianna Bailey

The Elk, the Tourists and the Missing Coal Country Jobs
Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting
Louisville, Kentucky
Reporter: R.G. Dunlop

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.

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