Impact has been at the core of ProPublica’s mission since we launched in 2008, and that’s true for ProPublica Illinois, too. What we mean by impact is that our investigative journalism seeks to do more than expose wrongdoing and injustice; we hope to spark real-world change.
We’ve written a white paper on the topic, and examples of how ProPublica and ProPublica Illinois stories have produced such change — from the resignation of corrupt officials to the passage of new laws — are compiled in our annual reports. On this page, you’ll find stories that show the impact of our work in Illinois.
After NPR Illinois and ProPublica found that several University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professors who violated policies were allowed to quietly resign and take paid leave with their reputations intact, lawmakers called for reforms.
After more than a year of reporting from ProPublica Illinois and WBEZ, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced ticketing changes and said she would support legislation to change state law — beginning to make good on a campaign promise.
A federal appeals court said the city’s aggressive legal strategy, aimed at discouraging motorists with unpaid ticket debt from filing under Chapter 13, violated the basic protections of bankruptcy, and the city was doing so mostly to generate revenue.
The suit against the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, filed on behalf of hundreds of children, claims holding them after doctors clear them for release compounds their trauma. “I felt trapped,” one teen said.
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