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Three New Partners Selected for ProPublica’s Local Reporting Network

Reporters in Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania will join the network on April 1, bringing the total number of newsrooms and projects this year to 23.

ProPublica has selected three more local journalists to join its Local Reporting Network, giving them the time and resources to investigate wrongdoing and abuses of power in their communities.

Our new partners will begin work on April 1 and continue for one year. This group of projects is made possible by a grant from Knight Foundation. They are:

  • Georgia Health News (Atlanta) — Max Blau
  • The Palm Beach Post (Palm Beach, Florida) — Lulu Ramadan
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer and Spotlight PA (Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) — Bob Fernandez

An additional 20 projects are already underway, bringing the total number of reporters in the network, as of April 1, to 23.

Participating reporters collaborate with ProPublica senior editors as they embark on investigative journalism within their communities. ProPublica reimburses one year’s salary and benefits for each of the participating reporters and also supports projects with its expertise in data, research, audience and engagement elements of the work.

“There has never been a more precarious time for local news and local news organizations,” ProPublica Deputy Managing Editor Charles Ornstein said. “The projects we’ve selected are incredibly important and have the potential to bring about needed change in their communities.”

ProPublica launched the Local Reporting Network at the beginning of 2018 to boost investigative journalism in local newsrooms.

One of our partners last year, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism, 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 said it would raise the minimum wage it pays employees, dramatically expand its financial assistance policy for hospital care and stop suing its employees for unpaid medical debts.

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 federal emergency, releasing millions in funds to devote to the problem.

MLK50 and the Anchorage Daily News continue to be partners in the Local Reporting Network this year.

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