Who is ProPublica?

Knowledge is a core value at SCG. This weekly column highlights something interesting learned recently by one of our team members. We hope you find it intriguing, relevant and informative:

In what has become an unfathomable news week, it was just Monday (June 18, 2018) that the nonprofit journalism organization ProPublica published the 8-minute recording of crying children separated from their parents at the U.S. border. At the time, Rachel Maddow said this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Others attempted to discredit the recording. Snopes.com published its fact check rating as “correct attribution.”

I wondered – who was this ProPublica group that helped turn the country on its ear? I decided to do a little digging and was interested to learn the following:

ProPublica was founded in 2008 with the mission to expose abuses of power and betrayal of the public trust using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform. The number of awards they have won in just a decade is nothing but impressive. I started to tally the number of times they were Pulitzer Prize finalists. It was daunting to sort through the pages and pages of other awards to find the Pulitzer listings. My count includes two in 2018 (Explanatory Reporting in conjunction with National Public Radio and Local Reporting); one each in 2017 (Public Service) and 2016 (Explanatory Reporting – which explored the hidden power of computer-driven algorithms); and then again in 2011 (National Reporting) and 2010, just two years after the group formed. That makes six.

Their Directors, Journalism Advisory Board and Business Advisory Council are also impressive, with an accomplished array of investors, business people and journalists.

I also found it interesting that they cleverly request that readers “Steal Our Stories” using the Creative Commons license to allow (or encourage) others to republish their articles and graphics within certain guidelines. This seems like a smart way to support their stated mission.

Then I wondered, how does this investigative journalism group support itself? There is a long list of supporters noted on the site – composed of both familiar and not-so-familiar foundations. There are many, many unnamed foundations and individuals as well. To all of them, I extend my gratitude for their support of a free and vigorous press.

Pat Henning Strother

Patricia has shaped Strother Communications Group’s client service drawing from her extensive experience in finance and marketing in corporate and agency settings including Vice President of investor relations for both a regional and national […] Read Bio »


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