Impact

Journalism in the Public Interest

Impact has been at the core of ProPublica’s mission since we launched in 2008, and it remains the principal yardstick for our success today. Our investigative journalism does more than expose wrongdoing and injustice; we intend for it to spark real-world change.

We’ve written a whole white paper on the topic, and examples of how our stories have produced such change — from the resignation of corrupt officials to the passage of new laws — are compiled in our annual reports. On this page, you’ll find our reporting on the impact of our work.

Featured Impact

Facebook Won’t Let Employers, Landlords or Lenders Discriminate in Ads Anymore

The sweeping changes come two years after ProPublica’s reporting, which sparked lawsuits and widespread outrage.

IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax

The changes come after ProPublica’s reporting showed how TurboTax maker Intuit tricked customers into paying for tax prep they could have gotten for free.

Illinois to Take Emergency Action to Halt Isolated Timeouts in Schools

Gov. J.B. Pritzker called the practice of secluding children “appalling” and said he will work with legislators to end it.

We Reported on a Nonprofit Hospital System That Sues Poor Patients. It Just Freed Thousands From Debt.

After an investigation by MLK50 and ProPublica, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare is erasing debt for unpaid hospital bills owed by more than 6,500 patients. Our reporting found the hospital had profited by aggressively pursuing patients who couldn’t pay.

More Impact

The Hospital System Sent Patients With Coronavirus Home to Die. Louisiana Legislators Are Demanding an Investigation.

The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus called the practice of sending infected coronavirus patients home to die “disturbing” after ProPublica found that one New Orleans hospital system had done so numerous times.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Confirms a Pattern of Age Discrimination at IBM

A sweeping decision by the EEOC could cost the tech giant millions in settlements or make it the target of a federal age-discrimination lawsuit. Its findings echo those of a ProPublica investigation.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Calls for Audit After Our Reporting on a State Institute That Lobbied for the Timber Industry

The Oregon Forest Resources Institute worked to undercut academic research and acted as a lobbying and public relations arm for the timber industry. Now, the governor has asked for an audit.

The Trump Administration Is Backing Out of a $647 Million Ventilator Deal After ProPublica Investigated the Price

The government overpaid by hundreds of millions for Philips ventilators, says a House investigation spurred by ProPublica reporting. Now that deal is off and Congress is scrutinizing other coronavirus deals made by trade adviser Peter Navarro.

Black Diabetics Lose Limbs at Triple the Rate of Others. Here’s How Health Care Leaders Are Starting to Act.

The American Diabetes Association is creating an initiative to fight unnecessary amputations, which a ProPublica investigation found disproportionately affect Black diabetics. Congress, doctors and the public are finally taking notice, too.

Alaska’s Attorney General Resigns Hours After We Published “Uncomfortable” Texts He Sent to a Younger Colleague

An Anchorage Daily News and ProPublica investigation revealed Kevin Clarkson texted a much-younger state employee hundreds of times, often using kiss emoji and commenting on her appearance.

Federal Investigation Finds Hospital Violated Patients’ Rights by Profiling, Separating Native Mothers and Newborns

It remains unclear just how many newborns were separated from their mothers as a result of the policies. Lovelace Women’s Hospital did not admit to any wrongdoing but reported that the practice has been halted.

Demandaron a miles de prestatarios durante la pandemia, hasta que comenzamos a hacer preguntas

A meses de haber comenzado la pandemia, un prestamista que se comercializa entre los inmigrantes latinos siguió demandando a sus prestatarios, a pesar de que estos perdieron sus empleos y se retrasaron con sus pagos. No obstante, la compa?ía dio marcha atrás cuando nosotros comenzamos a hacer preguntas.

Grace, Black Teen Jailed for Not Doing Her Online Coursework, Is Released

Grace’s story, first published by ProPublica Illinois, prompted outrage and debate across the country. Though a judge refused to set the girl free, the Michigan Court of Appeals ordered her immediate release from a juvenile detention facility in Detroit.

Portland Protesters No Longer Being Banned From Attending Protests to Win Release From Jail

After a ProPublica report, federal prosecutors and defenders made a joint request to the court that the practice be stopped.

They Sued Thousands of Borrowers During the Pandemic — Until We Started Asking Questions

Months into the pandemic, a lender that markets to Latino immigrants continued to sue borrowers after they lost jobs and missed payments. But they reversed course when we started asking questions.

Senate Democrats Ask Banking Regulator to Explain Handling of “Redlining” Investigations

The letter comes after a story by ProPublica and The Capitol Forum outlined how the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency shelved investigations into discrimination at Bank of America and other lenders.

Out of View: After Public Outcry, CDC Adds Hospital Data Back to Its Website — for Now

Hospitalization data is important to understanding the coronavirus’s spread and impact. But after the Trump administration changed its reporting rules, the CDC removed the data from its site, and only added it back after a public outcry.

One Federal Agency Was Suing Him for Fraud. Another Paid His Company Millions for Masks.

Court records show the federal government gave $20 million in contracts to a company partly controlled by a man with a history of shady business practices.

FEMA Ordered $10.2 Million in COVID-19 Testing Kits It’s Now Warning States Not to Use

The faulty lab equipment sold by a company whose owner has faced fraud allegations is being investigated by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general.

The Indian Health Service Wants to Return 1 Million KN95 Masks It Bought From a Former White House Official

The former official, Zach Fuentes, is refusing to take back the masks even though IHS said they did not meet FDA standards. His company’s lawyer says the IHS is trying to cancel the order for “political reasons.”

Stop Seizing Paychecks, Senators Write to Capital One and Other Debt Collectors

Wage garnishments ordered before the pandemic started have continued for many workers during the recession. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown have demanded an end to the practice.

A Hospital Was Accused of Racially Profiling Native American Women. Staff Said Administrators Impeded an Investigation.

Federal regulators are investigating a New Mexico hospital accused of racial profiling. This comes as hospital staff said administrators appeared to hide documents and discouraged cooperation with an initial state inquiry.

State Investigating Hospital With Coronavirus Policy That Profiled Pregnant Native American Mothers and Separated Them From Newborns

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham cited “significant, awful allegations” in a ProPublica and New Mexico In Depth story on a hospital where clinicians said pregnant Native women were singled out for COVID-19 testing and separated from newborns after delivery.

Advocates Sue Trump Administration Over Mass Border Expulsions

The suit, which draws on ProPublica’s story illuminating the secretive policy, seeks to stop a 16-year-old boy from being expelled to Honduras and to reunite him with his father who’s already living in the U.S.

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