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ProPublica to Take Over Several Sunlight Foundation Projects

NEW YORK – Nov. 1, 2016 – When the Sunlight Foundation recently announced the shutdown of Sunlight Labs, its division dedicated to building useful open data tools from dense government files, the nonprofit encouraged other organizations to adopt its projects. ProPublica announced today that it will take over five tools and projects started by Sunlight Labs. These include:

  • Politwoops, an archive of tweets deleted by U.S. politicians and those seeking office. ProPublica will continue the curation of Politwoops.

  • Capitol Words, a tool that visualizes words and phrases used most frequently by legislators on the House and Senate floor, providing insights into which issues they address on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. ProPublica will maintain Capitol Words and will also take over the API on which it runs.

  • House Staff Directory, a database of the names and contacts numbers for thousands of congressional staffers, searchable by members, committees and offices. The directory will be become part of ProPublica’s Represent database, which tracks bills considered and votes taken by congressional lawmakers

  • House Expenditure Report, a database that tracks how House members spend taxpayer money on office overhead. This report will also be incorporated into ProPublica’s Represent.

  • Congress API, which lets programmers build their own apps using information on members of Congress, including bills, amendments, nominations, votes, floor activity and hearings. ProPublica will adopt this API and migrate its users to ProPublica’s own Congress API.

The transitions to ProPublica will begin immediately, with the full migration to the ProPublica domain name scheduled for the coming weeks.

“As journalists, we are big believers in government transparency,” said ProPublica Deputy Managing Editor Scott Klein. “And as a newsroom founded to spur reform through shining a light on wrongdoing, ProPublica is proud to continue the important and pioneering work of Sunlight Labs.”

For more details on how ProPublica plans to use the tools it has adopted from the Sunlight Foundation, read Klein’s blog post, “Taking Cues, and Some Projects, from Sunlight Labs.”

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 its second Pulitzer, the first ever awarded to a body of work that did not appear in print, and in 2016 the newsroom won a third Pulitzer. In 2014, ProPublica won a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Leadership. ProPublica is supported primarily by philanthropy and offers its articles for republication, both through its website and directly to leading news organizations selected for maximum impact.

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