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ProPublica Teams With the Tenement Museum for a New Series of Public Conversations

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, ProPublica and the Tenement Museum will team up for the first of a monthly series of Tenement Talks. The premiere conversation will feature former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer speaking with ProPublica’s Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein about their Pulitzer Prize-winning “Wall Street Money Machine” series. The investigation focused on the ways Wall Street banks and hedge funds masked the weak housing market by creating complex securities deals and how those deals ultimately exacerbated the financial crisis.

The Tenement Talks/ProPublica conversations will be titled “Investigate This: Conversations With ProPublica” and will feature ProPublica reporters talking with other experts who are knowledgeable about the investigations the newsroom produces. The second event will take place on November 8 and will feature Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber in conversation with Harvard doctor Marcia Angell about ProPublica’s “Dollars for Docs” project on the influence pharmaceutical company payments to doctors can have on healthcare decisions.

“These Tenement Talks With ProPublica call to mind the days when people were accustomed to meeting with each other—in shops and saloons, places of worship and tenement stoops—to talk about the news of the day,” said Tenement Museum President Morris Vogel. “Much like ProPublica does in their investigations, we hope these conversations will help people understand the events of our own time and how we got to where we are today.”

“We’re pleased to be contributing to the Tenement Talks series, which is thoughtful and informative,” added ProPublica General Manager Richard Tofel. “We’re also very excited to have Eliot Spitzer, once best known as ‘the Sheriff of Wall Street,’ joining us for this first event.”

TheTenement Talks “Investigate This” conversations will take place on the second Tuesday of every month at the Tenement Museum (108 Orchard Street at Delancey in Manhattan). The events are free and open to the public. A complete schedule of the talks is available here, and details on how readers can join us will follow shortly.

About ProPublica

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. In 2010, it was the first online news organization to win a Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, ProPublica won the first Pulitzer awarded to a body of work that did not appear in print. ProPublica is supported primarily by philanthropy and provides the articles it produces, free of charge, both through its own website and to leading news organizations selected with an eye toward maximizing the impact of each article.

About the Lower East Side Tenement Museum

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum, founded in 1988, is located in a National Landmark tenement at 97 Orchard Street. The building was home to more than 7,000 immigrants from more than 20 nations between 1863 and 1935. Anchored in a neighborhood that has long been home to thousands of poor and working class people, the Tenement Museum is dedicated to using the historyof its site as a tool for addressing issues that are still relevant today, including immigration. In 2008 the museum was honored with the Preserve America Presidential Award and the National Medal for Museum Service.

Mike Webb

Mike Webb was the vice president/communications of ProPublica. He is a veteran communications specialist with experience in public relations, marketing, sales and campaign work at media companies, think tanks, political organizations and in the entertainment business.

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