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Stephen Engelberg

Editor-in-Chief

Photo of Stephen Engelberg

Stephen Engelberg was the founding managing editor of ProPublica from 2008–2012, and became editor-in-chief on January 1, 2013. He worked previously as managing editor of The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon, where he supervised investigative projects and news coverage. Before that, Engelberg worked for 18 years at The New York Times as an editor and reporter, founding the paper’s investigative unit and serving as a reporter in Washington, D.C., and Warsaw. Engelberg shared in two George Polk Awards for reporting: the first, in 1989, for articles on nuclear proliferation; the second, in 1994, for articles on U.S. immigration. A group of articles he co-authored in 1995 on an airplane crash was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. Projects he supervised at the Times on Mexican corruption (published in 1997) and the rise of Al Qaeda (published beginning in January 2001) were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. During his years at The Oregonian, the paper won the Pulitzer for breaking news and was finalist for its investigative work on methamphetamines and charities intended to help the disabled. He is the co-author of “Germs: Biological Weapons and America’s Secret War” (2001).

A Free Press Works for All of Us

The cause of investigative reporting, a crucial element of our democracy, benefits enormously from our country’s tradition of a free, unfettered press.

DHS Chief is Confronted With ProPublica Tape of Wailing Children Separated from Parents

A reporter turned on the audio recording as Kirstjen Nielsen defended the Trump administration’s immigration policies at a White House briefing.

Welcome to Our Second Decade

Much has changed since ProPublica published its first story, but we remain committed to the power of fact-based journalism to spur change and right wrongs.

A Prisoner in Gina Haspel’s Black Site

While most of her career as a CIA operative remains secret, newly available documents shed light on a pivotal moment in the career of President Donald Trump’s choice to head the nation’s spy agency.

What ProPublica Is Doing About Diversity in 2018

Here is a breakdown of our staff. And here is how we’re working to create a more diverse newsroom and inclusive journalism community.

How We Obtained the Government’s Data on Agent Orange and Birth Defects

The Veterans Administration refused to release what it had learned about possible links between birth defects and exposure to Agent Orange. ProPublica and The Virginian-Pilot found a novel way to obtain the information under procedures historically used for scientific research by academic scholars.

HUD Has ‘Serious Concerns’ About Facebook’s Ethnic Targeting

Federal officials are taking a close look at a sales practice that allows advertisers on the social network to include or exclude people who have an “affinity” with specific ethnic groups.

Coming Soon From ProPublica and Frontline: ‘Terror in Europe’

The recent series of terror attacks in France and Belgium lay bare an array of security shortcomings, most of which remain unaddressed. ProPublica and Frontline examine what went wrong and why it is so hard for Europe to protect itself from the growing threat.

In Wells Fargo Case, News Really Did Happen To An Editor

How ProPublica’s top editor failed to recognize that his personal experience with a mysterious bank fee was part of a much, much larger story.

Why Are We Still Wasting Billions on Homeland Security Projects That Don’t Make Us Safer?

An article in The Atlantic on post-9/11 America makes a powerful case that the “never again” approach to homeland security is good politics but lousy policy.

Why We Are Publishing Videos the LAPD Wouldn’t Release

The publishing of the videos detailing Vachel Howard’s death inside a Los Angeles police jail involved months of reporting and a lot of thought.

An Unintended Side Effect of Transparency

Some readers are using a ProPublica database to search for doctors who freely prescribe opioid painkillers, raising questions.

‘Spotlight’ Gets Investigative Journalism Right

Unlike many films about reporters, “Spotlight” accurately depicts the frustrations and joys of breaking a big story, from the drudgery of spreadsheets to the electric thrill of revelatory interviews.

About That Unbelievable Story

The Painting That Saved My Family From the Holocaust

A frightened young woman left her apartment in Munich in November 1938 and returned with the visa that saved her family. A team of German journalists launched an improbable search to find the missing artwork and tell its story.

Our Rebuttal to RAND’s Critique of Surgeon Scorecard

The think tank claims Scorecard’s methods aren’t reliable, but its commentary is undermined by supposition, conflicts of interest and a lack of evidence.

Editor’s Note: ‘Dr. Abscess’ and Why Surgeon Scorecard Matters

Critics claim our analysis of surgical complications is flawed. We disagree. For the first time, patients can see a surgeon’s record – and use it to help make their best choice.

How Crowdsourcing Helped Bring Red Cross Problems to Light

The ability to reach a much wider universe of sources gives reporters a powerful new tool — if they know which questions to ask.

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