Propublica- Stephanie Kelly

Posted: February 2, 2011 by stephaniekelly10 in #3 Propublica


It’s hard to know who we can trust anymore. Everyone seems to have a secret they want to protect.

We see this daily in the media. Newspapers are plagued with headlines about corruption, whether it be in government or the corporate world. Someone needs to bring these stories into the public realm. That’s where organizations like Propublica come in. Propublica, the non-profit investigative news outlet, pride themselves on being “journalism in the public interest.”

In Brain Wars- How the Military is Failing its wounded, Propublica investigates how thousands of US soldiers suffering from brain injuries are not being properly diagnosed. It takes an interesting twist on America’s supposed support for those in uniform. The article targets the US military medical system for not properly diagnosing soldiers who suffer from traumatic brain wounds as a result of exposure to bombs. Most importantly, it brings to light the issue of brain injuries among US servicemen (and women) and the particular struggles they face for recognition and compensation.

Propublica certainly benefits the public. It is free, informative and easily accessible. This type of investigative journalism is an interesting phenomenon, because unlike other news corporations who entered the online world as a tactic to boost subscriptions, Propublica began as and remains a non-profit organization. Undoubtedly, one of the tenants of good journalism is to keep the powerful accountable and to shed light on injustices. The reality, however is that journalism is a business. We need to make profit, so we write what sells papers.

When I first read about Propublica and their innovative form of reporting, I was a bit sceptical. Delivering free news to the masses for the sake of public knowledge seemed a bit romantic. After taking a more in depth look at their stories, I was surprised at the quality of the writing and reporting. It offered a diverse selection of topics including business, the environment, politics and health. Topics are covered with a long list of well developed stories that offer several angles and voices on the subject.

As I scanned the website, I tried to figure out what distinguished this news source from the others. I realized that Propublica is like a documentary in print form. It tackles stories large, complex stories that require time and space not offered by a daily newspaper.







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