ProPublica is pleased to announce a significant three-year grant from The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation to strengthen our reporting on issues critical to communities in Chicago and other large cities in Illinois. The grant will fund a dedicated Illinois urban affairs beat run out of our Midwest bureau, as well as the development and launch of a special one-day investigative editor training session to increase the ranks of investigative editors from diverse backgrounds in Chicago.
ProPublica opened its first local newsroom in Chicago in 2017, publishing investigative reporting on a wide range of topics in Illinois, which prompted impact across the state. Our reporting from Illinois has led to legislation banning locked seclusion and restraints in schools; debt-relief programs to help low-income residents disproportionately burdened by Chicago’s punitive ticketing; and reforms and bills introduced to end police ticketing of students in schools.
“The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation has supported ProPublica’s reporting in Illinois for nearly 10 years, helping us establish our first regional reporting unit in Chicago,” said ProPublica President Robin Sparkman. “I am deeply grateful for their commitment to support local accountability journalism in urban Illinois and look forward to continuing our partnership for the next three years.”
The foundation’s investment in our work will allow our Midwest hub to dedicate one full-time investigative reporter to surface issues central to urban communities in Illinois, with a particular emphasis on Chicago. This beat will likely cover topics such as education, criminal justice, public safety, public health, housing and development, with a particular focus on equity.
“This is a chance to go deeper in Illinois communities where our journalism can make a difference and to focus on urban issues that demand greater scrutiny,” said George Papajohn, Midwest editor for ProPublica.
“As a national leader in public-interest investigative journalism, ProPublica has shone a light on issues affecting our state and spurred significant change on topics including health care, public schools, and children and families. This position will add to ProPublica’s body of work in Chicago and Illinois cities where the reporting will drive reform and help to address urgent problems,” said Anne Lazar, executive director of The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. With a team of more than 100 dedicated journalists, ProPublica covers a range of topics, focusing on stories with the potential to spur real-world impact. Its reporting has contributed to the passage of new laws; reversals of harmful policies and practices; and accountability for leaders at local, state and national levels. Since it began publishing in 2008, ProPublica has received six Pulitzer Prizes, five Peabody Awards, five Emmy Awards and 12 George Polk Awards, among others.
About The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation is committed to enriching the lives of all Chicagoans by improving the built environment, cultivating a robust and diverse arts and culture ecosystem, and supporting investigative journalism that fosters transparency, accountability, and effective government.