by Tara Morgan
BW is unabashedly pro ProPublica. And it looks like we’re not alone. Today, it was announced that the independent, non-profit news organization won its second Pulitzer Prize in as many years. Reporters Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein received the prestigious National Reporting award for their investigative look into the financial crisis, “The Wall Street Money Machine,” which was featured on This American Life’s “Inside Job.”
ProPublica consists of 34 Manhattan-based investigative journalists who look into “the critical functions of business and of government, the two biggest centers of power, in areas ranging from product safety to securities fraud, from flaws in our system of criminal justice to practices that undermine fair elections.” Their in-depth stories are then offered free of charge to different news and broadcast organizations—like BW—with the goal of stimulating positive change and reform. According to its website, ProPublica was founded to counter the lack of investigative journalism that is currently being done in the industry.
Investigative journalism is at risk. Many news organizations have increasingly come to see it as a luxury. Today’s investigative reporters lack resources: Time and budget constraints are curbing the ability of journalists not specifically designated “investigative” to do this kind of reporting in addition to their regular beats. This is therefore a moment when new models are necessary to carry forward some of the great work of journalism in the public interest that is such an integral part of self-government, and thus an important bulwark of our democracy.
This is the first Pulitzer to be awarded to a group of stories not previously published in print.