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The Story Behind Our Hospital Interactive

In a five-day hackathon, ProPublica and PBS Frontline team up to create an interactive story exploring six myths about hospitals and patient safety.

Here at ProPublica, we love to find new ways to tell stories. We’ve built data-driven news apps, commissioned our own news songs and crafted narratives with a novelist’s touch, all to enrich our investigative reporting.

Your Hospital May Be Hazardous To Your Health,” co-published today with PBS Frontline, is our newest try at innovation. And it had an unusual gestation – as part of a five-day hackathon that brought together teams of journalists, filmmakers, developers and designers to produce interactive stories for the Web.

The piece draws from ongoing reporting about patient safety by ProPublica reporters Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce. Our collaborators were documentary filmmakers Tom Jennings and Sabrina Shankman and Director of Development Sam Bailey, all with Frontline, and a team from Ocupop, a web design and development group based in Milwaukee, Wisc.

The hackathon – “Tribeca Hacks: Storytelling Innovation Lab” – is a project of the Tribeca Film Institute and Mozilla that is supported by the Ford Foundation.

Tom Detzel

Tom Detzel was a senior editor at ProPublica. Previously, Detzel was an editor at the Oregonian beginning in 1995 and was the newspaperâs investigations editor starting in 2004.

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