Sunday, June 19, 2011

ProPublica

Learning about Page One, the new documentary about The New York Times, has led me to learn about the news organization ProPublica, which I have added to list of "More News Organizations" to the right.

The About Us page for ProPublica gives the details of its establishment and work.  According to this page, ProPublica is an independent non-profit newsroom focusing on investigative journalism.  It looks for stories that have a major impact on the public, whether it be in the realms of business, government, education, or other prominent institutions. 

ProPublica began publishing in 2008 and is led by former editors of several major news organizations, including Stephen Engelberg, a former managing editor of The Oregonian.  All of their stories are published on their website, and they offer many of the same stories to major news organizations free of charge.

ProPublica has received two Pulitzer Prizes.  In 2010 it received a Pulitzer for Investigative Reporting, the first to be awarded to an online news organization.  For 2011, it received a Pulitzer for National Reporting, the first to be awarded for stories that were not published in print.

Due to the nature of our journalism course here at the seminary, we may not spend a lot of time on investigative reporting.  However, a solid understanding of the place of journalism in democratic societies includes this investigative aspect.  ProPublica seems to be a good current example of this kind of work that our students can explore during their studies next semester.

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