Ava Kofman


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Ava Kofman is a reporter on ProPublica’s national desk. She joined the newsroom in January 2019, after working as a contributing writer at The Intercept, where she covered technology.

In 2021, she reported with colleagues on toxic air pollution across the United States. The team’s examination of the country’s “Sacrifice Zones,” which helped spur several reforms, was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize and a National Magazine award.

Kofman’s 2022 investigation of the hospice industry prompted numerous policy changes. It received the 2023 Hillman Prize for Magazine Journalism and was a finalist for the Livingston Award.

Her work has also been honored by the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, and the National Press Club. It has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Magazine and The Atlantic, among other places.

EPA Finalizes New Standards for Cancer-Causing Chemicals

The regulation specifically targets ethylene oxide, which a ProPublica analysis found was the single biggest contributor to excess industrial cancer risk from air pollutants nationwide.

Medicare Certifies Hospices in California Despite State Ban on New Licenses

The agency has rolled out sweeping changes to target end-of-life care providers that were billing for unneeded services, but some fraud hot spots continue to evade scrutiny.

Hospices in Four States to Receive Extra Scrutiny Over Concerns of Fraud, Waste and Abuse

Federal regulators have announced enhanced oversight of new hospices in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas, targeting providers highlighted by a ProPublica investigation.

Inside the Secretive World of Penile Enlargement

How a doctor’s two-decade quest to grow the penis is leaving some men desperate and disfigured.

Regulators Overhaul Inspections of Hospice Providers

A report last year from ProPublica and The New Yorker revealed a $22 billion hospice industry rife with fraud and exploitation. CMS announced reforms that go into effect immediately.

Pressure Mounts for Hospice Reform

As part of a growing national dialogue around hospice abuse, trade groups and government watchdog agencies are pushing regulators to make changes.

Congress and Industry Leaders Call for Crackdown on Hospice Fraud

Following a ProPublica-New Yorker investigation into the hospice industry, members of the Comprehensive Care Caucus and national trade groups are demanding reform.

How to Research Your Hospice (and Avoid Hospice Fraud)

A guide for readers, patients and caregivers.

Endgame: How the Visionary Hospice Movement Became a For-Profit Hustle

Half of all Americans now die in hospice care. Easy money and a lack of regulation transformed a crusade to provide death with dignity into an industry rife with fraud and exploitation.

Patrick Radden Keefe Gets to the Bottom of It

The author of “Rogues” talks about craft, cracking cold cases and his aversion to “cinematic” journalism.

Facebook Finally Agrees to Eliminate Tool That Enabled Discriminatory Advertising

Six years after ProPublica revealed that Facebook allowed advertisers to exclude Black users and others, the company agreed to a settlement with the Justice Department to overhaul its ad algorithm system.

Representatives Introduce $500 Million Air Quality Bill, Citing ProPublica’s Investigations

Lawmakers introduced a House bill to fund air monitoring after ProPublica highlighted pollution in its “Black Snow” and “Sacrifice Zones” investigations. The bill is nearly identical to one introduced in the Senate last summer.

EPA Takes Action to Combat Industrial Air Pollution

The EPA announced a raft of targeted actions and specific reforms including stepped-up air monitoring and scrutiny of industrial polluters in the wake of ProPublica’s investigation into toxic hot spots.

What’s Polluting the Air? Not Even the EPA Can Say.

Despite the high stakes for public health, the EPA relies on emissions data it knows to be inaccurate. To expose toxic hot spots, we first had to get the facts straight.

Veneno en el aire

La EPA permite a los contaminadores que conviertan barrios en “zonas de sacrificio” donde los residentes respiran carcinógenos. ProPublica revela dónde están esos lugares en un mapa, el primero de este tipo, y con análisis de datos.

They Knew Industrial Pollution Was Ruining the Neighborhood’s Air. If Only Regulators Had Listened.

Raw throats, burning eyes, strong acid smells. Air monitoring that showed chemicals linked to leukemia. Barbara Weckesser and her neighbors told regulators that air pollution was making them sick. The law let them ignore her.

The EPA Administrator Visited Cancer-Causing Air Pollution Hot Spots Highlighted by ProPublica and Promised Reforms

ProPublica found more than 1,000 toxic air hot spots across the country, and determined Black residents were disproportionately at risk. Environmental experts called the EPA’s response to our investigation historic and a “radical change in tone.”

¿Puede la contaminación del aire causar cáncer? Lo que usted tiene que saber sobre los riesgos.

Si usted vive cerca de ciertas instalaciones industriales, puede tener un riesgo estimado de cáncer más alto. Aquí hay respuestas a preguntas comunes, datos producto de una colaboración participativa y cómo compartir su experiencia.

How You Can Report on the Toxic Hot Spots Near You

A journalist’s guide for investigating cancer-causing air pollution from industrial facilities by using ProPublica’s original air toxics map and data.

Poison in the Air

The EPA allows polluters to turn neighborhoods into “sacrifice zones” where residents breathe carcinogens. ProPublica reveals where these places are in a first-of-its-kind map and data analysis.

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