A Closer Look

Examining the News

Why the Black Educator Forced Out Over Bogus Critical Race Theory Claims Agreed to Share Her Story

ProPublica reporter Nicole Carr explains why educator Cecelia Lewis was hesitant to speak to reporters about white parents forcing her out of her job, and why she ultimately decided she had to.

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.

Daniel Taylor Was Innocent. He Spent Decades in Prison Trying to Fix the State’s Mistake.

He was in police custody at the time of the murders, but a dubious confession led to his wrongful conviction while Chicago police and prosecutors turned a blind eye to inconvenient facts that eventually exonerated him.

New Documents Show How Drug Companies Targeted Doctors to Increase Opioid Prescriptions

A trove of documents published as part of a legal settlement offers an unvarnished look inside the financial relationships between pharmaceutical companies and the medical community — from the perspective of drug companies themselves.

“If You’re Getting a W-2, You’re a Sucker”

There are many differences between the rich and the rest of us, but one of the most consequential for your taxes is whether most of your income comes from wages.

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.

Welfare Is No Substitute for a Child Tax Credit

Some in Congress say the child tax credit isn’t needed because Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is a success. Our reporting found it’s marked by repeated failures.

A Police Car Hit a Kid on Halloween 2019. The NYPD Is Quashing a Move to Punish the Officer.

Civilian investigators found that officers engaged in serious misconduct, including hitting one boy with a car, pointing a gun at another and wrongly arresting three teens. Then the NYPD intervened.

One Major Reason the U.S. Hasn’t Stopped Syphilis From Killing Babies

In reporting on the rising number of newborns needlessly dying of syphilis, ProPublica reporter Caroline Chen identified a contributing factor: the CDC’s funding structure, which is influenced by both politics and shifts in public attention.

The Billionaires Tax Isn’t New

Taxing billionaires on their wealth may sound novel, but the ideas behind it are already frequently used in the tax code.

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.

The Inside Story of How We Reported the Secret IRS Files

The ProPublica journalists who obtained the secret tax documents of thousands of America’s richest people share how they conceived of their stories, what readers should understand about the tax system and where they’re taking these stories next.

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.

The Investigative Reporting Behind America’s Obsession With Britney Spears’ Conservatorship

Years ago, ProPublica Managing Editor Robin Fields investigated California conservatorships. Recently, she interviewed New York Times Senior Story Editor Liz Day about the reporting in the “Framing Britney Spears” documentary.

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.

How the Federal Reserve Is Increasing Wealth Inequality

The Fed’s low-interest-rate policies have stabilized the economy and turbocharged the stock market. But those who don’t own lots of stocks haven’t benefited anywhere near as much as those who do.

What Police Impunity Looks Like: “There Was No Discipline as No Wrongdoing Was Found”

To understand why police are so rarely held accountable for killings, you should know about Kawaski Trawick, and what didn’t happen to the officer who shot him.

Lessons From Bessemer: What Amazon’s Union Defeat Means for the American Labor Movement

Did the failed vote in Alabama deliver a fatal blow to employees’ union efforts, or is it just a temporary setback? History offers a few clues.

I Received Tips to Look Into How a Hospital Treated Premature Babies. Getting Data Was Nearly Impossible.

New Mexico limits the information it collects on neonatal centers. That makes it incredibly challenging to get reliable data, sort out what’s wrong and figure out how to fix it.

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