ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Our Investigations

The Etan Patz Case

The disappearance of a 6-year-old New York boy has mystified and frustrated police for decades. The trial of his alleged killer ended with a hung jury, a dozen people who spent 18 days unsuccessfully trying to reach unanimity.

Killing the Colorado

The Colorado River is dying – the victim of legally sanctioned overuse, the relentless forces of urban growth, willful ignorance among policymakers and a misplaced confidence in human ingenuity. ProPublica investigates the policies that are putting this precious resource in peril.

17 Stories in the Series. Latest:

California and EPA Poised to Expand Pollution of Potential Drinking Water Reserves

Dollars for Doctors

ProPublica is tracking the financial ties between doctors and medical companies.

75 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Illinois Sues Controversial Drug Maker Over Deceptive Marketing Practices

The Rent Racket

ProPublica is exploring New York City’s broken rent stabilization system, the tax breaks that underpin it, the regulators who look the other way and the tenants who suffer as a result.

22 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Dozens of New York Officials Support Tenants’ Lawsuit Over Rent Stabilization

Unforgiven

The way lenders and collectors pursue consumer debt has undergone an aggressive transformation in America. Collectors today don’t give up easy, often pursuing debts for years. It’s now routine for companies to sue debtors, then seize their wages or the cash in their bank accounts. For many people, these changes have profoundly affected their lives.

25 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Company That Sued Soldiers Settles Colorado Lawsuit

The Breakdown

Our series seeks to show how politics and government really work, and why they don’t.

40 Stories in the Series. Latest:

As ISIS Brewed in Iraq, Clinton’s State Department Cut Eyes and Ears on the Ground

Red Cross

How one of the country’s most venerated charities has failed disaster victims, broken promises and made dubious claims of success.

36 Stories in the Series. Latest:

I Spent My Summer Tracking Down Government Records About the Red Cross

Policing Patient Privacy

ProPublica is exploring how patient privacy violations are affecting patients and the medical care they receive.

Chasing an Edge

ProPublica is examining doping and unorthodox medicine in the big-money world of professional sports, and why it’s so hard to police.

Machine Bias

We’re investigating algorithmic injustice and the formulas that increasingly influence our lives.

12 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Making Algorithms Accountable

Patient Safety

More than 1 million patients suffer harm each year while being treated in the U.S. health care system. Even more receive substandard care or costly overtreatment. Our ongoing investigation of patient safety features in-depth reporting, discussion and tools for patients.

67 Stories in the Series. Latest:

New Report: Problem Care Harms Almost One-Third of Rehab Hospital Patients

Sex and Gender

ProPublica’s Nina Martin reporting on American systems and institutions — from schools to hospitals to prisons — that fail or mistreat people on the basis of their gender or sexuality.

Attacks in Europe

A look at how the region is grappling with terrorism attacks — and how revolving-door prisons could be compounding the threat.

10 Stories in the Series. Latest:

ISIS via WhatsApp: ‘Blow Yourself Up, O Lion’

Busted

Tens of thousands of people every year are sent to jail based on the results of a $2 roadside drug test. Widespread evidence shows that these tests routinely produce false positives. Why are police departments and prosecutors still using them?

Reliving Agent Orange

ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot are exploring the effects of the chemical mixture Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans and their families, as well as their fight for benefits.

15 Stories in the Series. Latest:

VA Officials Pledge New Studies Into Effects of Agent Orange

Restraints

Do you know a child who has been forcibly restrained or secluded at school? Help us investigate by sharing your story.

16 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Florida Cracks Down on Troubled For-profit Facility for the Disabled

The Prescribers

Never-before-released government prescription records shows that some doctors and other health professionals across the country prescribe large quantities of drugs known to be potentially harmful, disorienting or addictive for their patients. And officials have done little to detect or deter these hazardous prescribing patterns.

39 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Florida Doctor Pleads Guilty to Fraud — Years After Complaints About His Prescribing

When Caregivers Harm

California nurses accused of serious wrongdoing have often been left free to practice for years while their cases were being investigated -- with patients unaware of the danger. And the problem goes beyond California: Many health workers who are disciplined in one state simply move to another and start with a clean license.

38 Stories in the Series. Latest:

New York Lawmakers Race to Toughen Oversight of Nurses and Other Professionals

Fracking

Vast deposits of natural gas have brought a drilling boom across much of the country, but the technique being used, called hydraulic fracturing, is suspected of causing hundreds of cases of water contamination. Now environmentalists and lawmakers are pushing for closer oversight of the gas industry, which is pushing back.

162 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Federal Report Appears to Undercut EPA Assurances on Water Safety In Pennsylvania

Terror in Little Saigon

Between 1981 and 1990, five Vietnamese-American journalists were killed in what the FBI suspected was a string of political assassinations. Unlike other violent attacks on journalists, these murders garnered relatively little attention.

10 Stories in the Series. Latest:

A Call to Reopen Investigation of Terror Campaign Against Journalists

Level 14

How a home for troubled children came undone and what it means for California’s chance at reform.

17 Stories in the Series. Latest:

For Many of Connecticut’s Disabled, Home Is Where the Harm Is

Nuisance Abatement

How New York City police are using little-known laws to kick people out of their homes, even they have haven’t been charged with a crime.

10 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Officials Were Warned of Trouble With NYPD Lockout Orders, And Then Police Kicked Out Wrong Family

Hell and High Water

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the country. It’s home to the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex, where billions of gallons of oil and dangerous chemicals are stored. And it’s a sitting duck for the next big hurricane. Why isn’t Texas ready?

5 Stories in the Series. Latest:

U.S. Rep. Weber Says He’ll Work on Bill to Speed Hurricane Protection Plan

College Debt

Total outstanding college debt is estimated at $1 trillion dollars – and with costs still soaring, the burden on students and their families shows no signs of abating. We’re examining how the complicated system of college debt is putting the squeeze on families.

Dragnets

ProPublica investigates the threats to privacy in an era of cellphones, data mining and cyberwar, including how citizens are digitally tracked by governments and corporations.

67 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Verizon to Pay $1.35 Million to Settle Zombie Cookie Privacy Charges

Insult to Injury

Driven by big business and insurers, states nationwide are dismantling workers’ compensation, slashing benefits to injured workers and making it more difficult for them to get care. Meanwhile employers are paying the lowest rates for workers’ comp insurance since the 1970s.

20 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Corporate Campaign to Ditch Workers’ Comp Stalls

An Unbelievable Story of Rape

An 18-year-old said she was attacked at knifepoint. Then she said she made it up. That’s where our story begins.

6 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Listen to Our Collaboration with ‘This American Life’

G.I. Dough

ProPublica is investigating how billions of U.S. tax dollars have been spent on questionable or failed projects and how those responsible for this waste are rarely held accountable.

9 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Lawmakers to Pentagon: Goats, Carpets and Jewelry Helped Afghanistan How?

Guns

We’re investigating the policy, politics and players around guns in America.

22 Stories in the Series. Latest:

How Much Could Obama’s Gun Moves Affect Gun Violence? Nobody Knows.

Buying Your Vote

A series of court rulings led to the creation of super PACs and an influx of “dark money” into politics, fundamentally changing how elections work. ProPublica is following the money and exploring campaign issues you won’t read about elsewhere.

122 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting on the House Republican

Overdose

About 150 Americans a year die by accidentally taking too much acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. The toll does not have to be so high.

14 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Johnson & Johnson Emerges Victorious in Lawsuit on Tylenol’s Risks

Nursing Homes

Our Nursing Home Inspect tool allows anyone to easily search and analyze the details of recent nursing home inspections, as well as penalties imposed on each home over the past three years.

12 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Congressional Leaders Ask FDA About Coumadin Safety

Tobacco Debt

A landmark 1998 settlement with Big Tobacco awarded states billions of dollars a year to offset the health-care costs of smoking. What seemed like a boon become a debt trap for many state and local governments when they used it to promise investors billions in the future in exchange for cash advances.

13 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Top Tobacco Bond Banker Departs Barclays

Examining Medicare

A closer look at the services delivered by providers in Medicare’s Part B program—and the money they collect.

10 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Patient Guide

Segregation Now

Investigating America’s racial divide in education, housing and beyond.

30 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Photos: Baltimore in the Wake of Freddie Gray

Firestone and the Warlord

In the first detailed examination of the relationship between Firestone and Liberian warlord Charles Taylor, this ProPublica/Frontline investigation lays bare the role of a global corporation in a brutal African conflict.

14 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Unsolved Killing of American Nuns in Liberia an Open Case Again

Presidential Pardons

White criminals seeking presidential pardons are nearly four times as likely to succeed as people of color, a ProPublica examination has found.

34 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Prolific Pardoner? Obama Grants Clemency to 22 Prisoners This Week, But Has Denied Thousands

Debt Inc.

Payday loans represent only one part of a high-cost lending industry that targets lower income consumers, trapping many in deep debt. When regulators and lawmakers try to crack down, lenders tweak their products to get around the law.

13 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Let The Game of Whack-A-Mole Begin: Feds Put Forward New Payday Rules

Fed Tapes

A confidential report and a fired examiner’s hidden recorder penetrate the cloistered world of Wall Street’s top regulator — and its history of deference to some of the country’s biggest banks.

17 Stories in the Series. Latest:

What We Still Don’t Know About the Fed’s Leak Investigation

Evaluating Charter Schools

ProPublica is exploring how this new model of schooling has raised questions about public transparency and private profits.

6 Stories in the Series. Latest:

When a Wildlife Rehab Center Regulates Charter Schools: Inside the Wild World of Charter Regulation

The Detention Dilemma

Big questions remain about the fates of the men whom the United States still holds prisoner at Guantanamo Bay. The evidence in many cases is tainted because it was obtained through harsh interrogations, and officials say some prisoners will be held indefinitely because they are too difficult to prosecute and too dangerous to release.

68 Stories in the Series. Latest:

U.S. Acknowledges Conviction of David Hicks, Guantanamo Detainee, Should Not Stand

Failing the Fallen

Investigating the Pentagon’s failing efforts to timely recover and ID those missing in action from World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

9 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Pentagon Finally Identifies the Remains of a POW Lost Since 1942

Temp Land

Temp employment is climbing to record levels following the Great Recession. The system benefits brand-name companies but harms American workers through lost wages, high injury rates, few if any benefits, and little opportunity for advancement.

15 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Illinois Revokes License of Temp Agency Check Cashing Store

Disaster Medicine

The tragedy in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and more recent worries about a flu epidemic have left doctors, ethicists and health officials grappling with a difficult question: In times of medical crises, which patients should be given access to lifesaving treatments if the number in need far exceeds the ability of the system to cope?

15 Stories in the Series. Latest:

10 Disturbing Things ProPublica Learned Investigating the Red Cross’ Sandy Relief Efforts

Dispatches from Freedom Summer

In 1964, whites and blacks joined to, as some put it, drag Mississippi back into the United States. Violence erupted. Lives were lost. But change was wrought, too.

10 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Keep on Pushing

Injection Wells

Injection wells used to dispose of the nation’s most toxic waste are showing increasing signs of stress as regulatory oversight falls short and scientific assumptions prove flawed.

11 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Report Criticizes EPA Oversight of Injection Wells

Obamacare and You

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, is the most significant health care overhaul in a generation. It seeks to decrease the number of people without health insurance and reform industry business practices. But the law’s rollout has been marred by glitches and political opposition. ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein has been tracking its implementation.

51 Stories in the Series. Latest:

Even After Open Enrollment, Activity Remains Unexpectedly High on Federal Health Insurance Exchange

Internships

The number of internships in the United States has ballooned over the past few decades. But oversight and legal protection for unpaid interns hasn’t kept up.

22 Stories in the Series. Latest:

What We Learned Investigating Unpaid Internships

Out of Order

The innocent can wind up in prison. The guilty can be set free. But New York City prosecutors who withhold evidence, tolerate false testimony or commit other abuses almost never see their careers damaged.

21 Stories in the Series. Latest:

New York State to Pay Millions in Wrongful Conviction Case

The Wall Street Money Machine

As investors left the housing market in the run-up to the meltdown, Wall Street sliced up and repackaged troubled assets based on those shaky mortgages, often buying those new packages themselves. That created fake demand, hid the banks’ real exposure, increased their bonuses — and ultimately made the mortgage crisis worse.

44 Stories in the Series. Latest:

The Rise of Corporate Impunity

The Magnetar Trade: How One Hedge Fund Helped Keep the Bubble Going

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