Michael Grabell


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Michael Grabell writes about economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 35 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic and the New York Times and on Vice and NPR.

Grabell has won two George Polk awards and has twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize — in 2021, as part of a team covering COVID-19, and in 2019, with Ginger Thompson and Topher Sanders, for stories that helped expose the impact of family separation at the border and abuse in immigrant children’s shelters. The latter work also won a Peabody award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.

He previously won the Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism for his investigation into the dismantling of workers’ compensation and an ASNE award for reporting on diversity for his series on the growth of temp work in the economy.

Off the Radar: Private Planes Hidden From Public View

ProPublica has obtained a list of private planes whose flights are blocked from public tracking sites, and among them are the planes of politicians, business executives, colleges, churches and even news organizations.

PR Firm Behind Propaganda Videos Wins Stimulus Contract

HHS has hired a PR firm to win consumer trust in the privacy of health information systems. But the tactics of the firm, Ketchum, have come under fire in the past.

The Stimulus 'Loser' List Loses Some Members

This month a government Web site listed companies that hadn't filed required reports on their stimulus money. Now a watchdog agency says that dozens of those companies should not have been on the list.

Gov't Wrongly Labels Some Stimulus Recipients 'Losers'

The government has listed as "two-time losers" stimulus recipients who didn't file reports. But some of the listed "losers" did file the reports. The list is intended to embarrass the recipients of money who didn't do the paperwork.

Our New List of Stimulus Investigations

DHS Asked to Investigate Air Marshal Allegations

The Transportation Security Administration is looking into reports of discrimination by an "old boys club" of supervisors in field offices of the Federal Air Marshal Service. Now a congressman is calling for an independent inquiry into the matter.

Air Marshals Dogged by Discrimination Complaints in Field Offices

As the administration looks to tighten air security, charges of discrimination and retaliation may distract federal air marshals from their work. Air marshals have long whispered about their complaints, but two recent cases are bringing public attention to the issue.

When Do You Ban a Stimulus Contractor?

White House Changes Stimulus Jobs Count

Counting the jobs created or saved by the stimulus has turned out to be difficult, and the numbers have been much disputed. Now the White House is revising its accounting process, dropping a cumulative tally and expanding the definition of what counts.

Are the Criticisms of the Gov’s Stimulus Site Legit?

Critics have been vocal about the flaws in the first big release of data on Recovery.gov, the federal stimulus-reporting Web site. But despite gaps in job numbers and the appearance of phantom congressional districts, the error rate in this database isn't so bad.

ProPublica's FAQ for Recovery.gov

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