“The creation of ProPublica was a response to a business crisis of the press at a time when resources for investigative reporting were being squeezed.” – Richard Tofel, President, ProPublica
ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism for the purpose of exposing abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions. They first started publishing in 2008. In 2015, they had close to 30 million page views, and by Spring 2017 average monthly page views were up more than 70% from the previous year.
“We launched an organization solely dedicated to investigative reporting, funded almost entirely through philanthropy” says Tofel. “Our support has increased dramatically, and the need for this on the part of millions of people is much greater. We’ve seen increased support from donors making large gifts, but also from donors with more modest means.”
As their support increases, ProPublica is working to expand their coverage by adding staff at the national level, new beats, or doubling or tripling down on existing beats. They are also beginning the roll out of what they hope will be a series of regional initiatives, launching later this year in Illinois.
“It’s a busy time,” says Tofel. “We’re going to do one and hope it works, and if it works editorially, and in terms of distribution and funding, we will take it to a number of states.”
In 2016, the Dyson Foundation provided general operating support to ProPublica to support quality news reporting in service of the public interest and a healthy democracy. Funding to ProPublica falls under the Public Policy funding theme, supporting its goals of an informed public and informed decision-making.