Stephen Engelberg


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 came to ProPublica from The Oregonian in Portland, where he had been a managing editor since 2002. Before joining The Oregonian, Mr. Engelberg worked for The New York Times for 18 years, including stints in Washington, D.C., and Warsaw, Poland, as well as in New York. He is a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board.

Mr. Engelberg’s work since 1996 has focused largely on the editing of investigative projects. He started the Times’s investigative unit in 2000. 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 a 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).

Why ProPublica Focuses on Issues You May Not See on Cable News

ProPublica’s mission statement encourages “using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.” Recently, that impact has been significant — and a bright spot in a dark media landscape.

El presidente mexicano López Obrador atacó nuestro artículo como “una calumnia” y a nuestro reportero como “un peón.” Aquí presentamos algunos hechos.

Después de que escribimos sobre una supuesta donación de un cártel a la campaña de 2006 del presidente mexicano, López Obrador ha atacado a nuestro reportero Tim Golden. Golden no va a contestar preguntas en una conferencia de prensa de AMLO, pero aquí respondemos a algunas.

Mexican President López Obrador Called Our Story “Slander” and Our Reporter a “Pawn.” Here Are Some Facts.

After we wrote about a suspected cartel donation to the Mexican president’s 2006 campaign, he’s gone on the attack against reporter Tim Golden. Golden won’t be attending AMLO’s press conferences, but here, we respond to some of his questions.

Behind the Scenes of Justice Alito’s Unprecedented Wall Street Journal Pre-buttal

The Journal editorial page accused ProPublica of misleading readers in a story that hadn’t yet been published.

The Origins of Our Investigation Into Clarence Thomas’ Relationship With Harlan Crow

The lavish travel, real estate deal and tuition arrangements have set off a frenzy. Here’s where our reporting started and how we got the story.

Will the Jan. 6 Hearings Change Anyone’s Mind?

The 1973 Watergate hearings changed popular opinion after Richard Nixon’s landslide win. Here’s what is — and isn’t — different today.

How Reporters Reconstructed a Deadly Evacuation From Kabul

ProPublica Editor-in-Chief Stephen Engelberg on the challenges and urgency of examining the final days of the war in Afghanistan, even as new conflicts demand our attention.

Recent White House Study on Taxes Shows the Wealthy Pay a Lower Rate Than Everybody Else

When ProPublica compared the richest Americans’ wealth gains to the taxes they paid, we found a system that benefits billionaires. White House economists recently used a similar method to calculate tax rates, revealing stark inequality.

Loan Forgiveness for Disabled Borrowers Was 10 Years in the Making

At ProPublica, we measure our success by the tangible impact our stories have. Sometimes it takes more than a decade to see a flawed policy change.

Revisiting “The Year of the Spy”

In 1985, covering a remarkable case of Chinese espionage left a lasting impression on editor Stephen Engelberg. Here, he recalls the trial in light of a new investigation that has the twists and turns of a spy novel.

Why We Are Publishing the Tax Secrets of the .001%

We are disclosing the tax details of the richest Americans because we believe the public interest in an informed debate outweighs privacy considerations.

How NYPD’s Vice Unit Got Prostitution Policing All Wrong

Most sex workers are trying to feed their families and avoid homelessness. The city’s preferred solution, counseling sessions, didn’t help them. And NYPD’s “crackdown” conveniently resulted in very few white people being arrested.

Why There’s So Much Investigative Journalism About Utility Companies

Power and water touch the lives of everyone. Someone has to hold the companies that deliver them to account.

Twenty-Six Words Created the Internet. What Will It Take to Save It?

Jeff Kosseff wrote the book on Section 230, the law that gave us the internet we have today. He talks with ProPublica Editor-in-Chief Stephen Engelberg about how we got here and how we should regulate our way out.

Seeing the Pentagon Papers in a New Light

We know the government lied about Vietnam. But should the reporter who published the Pentagon Papers have lied to his source?

The Unexpected Benefits of Thinking for Yourself in an Age of Polling

The most important thing journalists can do as they think about covering and investigating government and politics in election years is to not assume any outcome.

America Is About to Lose Its 200,000th Life to Coronavirus. How Many More Have to Die?

As another grim milestone approaches, here are the lessons officials ignored and what the country needs to do to prevent further tragedy.

Por qué publicamos el video de las horas anteriores a la muerte de Phillip García bajo custodia

García murió después de pasar tan solo 44 horas en manos de las autoridades del condado de Riverside, California. Decidimos publicar ciertas escenas perturbadoras del tiempo que estuvo detenido, con la esperanza de que su importancia supere el dolor que esto ocasionará.

Why We Are Publishing Video of the Hours Before Phillip Garcia Died in Custody

Garcia died after just 44 hours in the hands of authorities in Riverside County, California. We have chosen to release disturbing, selected scenes from his time in custody in hopes that their significance outweighs the pain this will cause.

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