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ProPublica to Expand News Applications Work With Knight Foundation Support

New funding will also create job-shadowing program for journalists.

New York, N.Y. — (July 18, 2012) — ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalism non-profit, will expand its industry-leading work in data-driven news applications with $1.9 million in new support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. ProPublica’s team will provide more apps across a wide range of subjects, enabled by additional staff members and the continued presence of a reporting fellow.

The funding also will create a job-shadowing program for journalists from across the country. One journalist per month will spend several days at ProPublica’s offices in New York, undertaking “paired programming” by developing a news application and learning best practices in the field. Participants will be chosen by a selection panel consisting of Dan Sinker, head of the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership, Clay Shirky, New York University professor and author, Scott Klein, editor of news applications at ProPublica, and Richard Tofel, ProPublica’s general manager. Those interested in applying for the ProPublica Paired Programming Project (P5) can find details at and can submit their application to [email protected].

In addition, ProPublica will offer free training seminars in news applications development annually at the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting (NICAR), Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) and Online News Association (ONA) conferences.

“Through investigations ranging from Wall Street’s role in the recession to how the military has failed its wounded, ProPublica has proven itself as a leader in data-driven journalism,” said Michael Maness, vice president for journalism and media innovation at Knight Foundation. “This new Knight support will help build apps that make the news more engaging and actionable, while spreading best practices from an emerging field into newsrooms nationwide.”

“Although computers have been used in journalism since the late 1960s, we believe we’re now present at the creation of a new and exciting approach: Using computers not just to gather and analyze data, but to tell stories that otherwise could not be told,” said Scott Klein, the editor of news applications at ProPublica. “News applications let readers find their own stories within big data. Because this new discipline is still forming, it requires more practitioners, and faces risks as newsrooms across the country struggle to fund innovation. Knight Foundation’s investment in our news applications work at ProPublica should pay meaningful dividends as we open our code and our newsroom.”

The new investment builds on Knight’s $1 million, 2009 grant to ProPublica. Over the past decade, Knight Foundation has invested $300 million in new ideas and models for leading journalism into its best possible future in the 21st century.

About ProPublica

ProPublica is an independent, non-profit 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 its second Pulitzer, the first ever 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. For more information, please visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

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