ProPublica published their first coronavirus investigation on February 28th, reporting on the grave missteps at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that hampered officials’ ability to track and contain the virus’s spread in the US. They then directed their healthcare reporters towards stories that clearly explained COVID-19 to readers, combatting oversimplified headlines and misleading statistics with accurate, fact-based journalism.
ProPublica was able to draw on their newsroom’s advantage in collecting and organizing firsthand information from people on the front lines. Tips flooded in and subsequent stories on the pandemic were critical, as frontline workers gave harrowing firsthand accounts. In one such article a medical worker described a terrifying lung failure. This piece became ProPublica’s most widely read story of all time, with more than 3.6 million views. (Read story here)
Throughout all of this coverage, and indeed since its inception, ProPublica has stayed true to their mission of publishing journalism with the potential and the power to change our society for the better.
The Pulitzer Board announced recently that ProPublica had been awarded its 6th Pulitzer Prize. One of the two series that was awarded was the result of a partnership established by the ProPublica Local Reporting Network with the Anchorage Daily News. Lawless covered the deficiencies in rural policing in Alaska. This is a perfect example of how ProPublica has given local newsrooms across America the resources and support needed to execute investigative journalism, with meticulous research and the aim to dig deep and hold power to account.