ProPublica to expand its work in audience engagement, involve people in newsgathering with $2.2 million from Knight Foundation

Press Release

August 20, 2015


New funding will also create training opportunities for journalists

NEW YORK – Aug. 20, 2015 – ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalism nonprofit, will build on its innovative approach to engaging the public in newsgathering, and introduce new training programs for journalists with $2.2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The funding will also provide ongoing support to ProPublica’s award-winning news applications team, led by Assistant Managing Editor Scott Klein, to deliver engaging data journalism, develop open-source tools and create opportunities for news organizations to use data sets to strengthen journalism in their local communities.

With this new investment in audience engagement efforts, ProPublica will revamp its Get Involved platform, which allows people to participate in reporting through discussions, feedback, story suggestions and more. The team will work to integrate the platform more seamlessly with its stories, information crowdsourcing efforts, and social media and news applications. Led by Senior Engagement Editor Amanda Zamora, the engagement team will conduct more experiments on the latest social platforms and messaging apps to better connect with both readers and other journalists. They will also build open-source tools and share best practices for using interactive features or news applications to inform and involve users in reported issues and inspire offline action. 

In 2016, a two-week Knight-ProPublica Summer Institute for 10-12 people will invite journalists to learn about the latest best practices in data reporting, interactive design and database journalism for large-scale interactive reporting projects. Participants will include undergraduates, journalists and technologists working in other newsrooms, as well as graduate students and journalism educators interested in applying algorithms to news.

“Time and again, ProPublica readers go out of their way to share their time and expertise to help us make better journalism,” Zamora said. “We’re thrilled to take that relationship with our audience to the next level, expanding our crowdsourcing efforts and working to facilitate better connections between our readers and other newsrooms.”

“I’m very proud to be continuing this relationship with Knight Foundation. Their investment in excellence and innovation comes at an unprecedented moment in journalism -- a real inflection point between vastly different ways of thinking and working,” Klein said. “We’ll continue to push forward into new territory and to share our findings, code and data.”

“ProPublica’s engagement and news apps teams have been leading the way in the use of data, social media and other powerful tools to engage members of the public in the newsgathering process,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. “Through these initiatives, ProPublica will help develop new ways to transform passive news consumers into active participants in information gathering, while introducing a new generation of journalists to new innovations in storytelling.”

Support for ProPublica is part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to advance excellence in journalism and to help news organizations inform people in communities of all sizes through experimentation, innovation and leadership. Knight has made many investments in this area, including the $5 million Knight Local Media Initiative, which has supported more than 50 online news sites around the country. 

About ProPublica

ProPublica is an independent, nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. In 2010, it was the first online news organization to win a Pulitzer Prize. In 2011, ProPublica won its second Pulitzer, the first ever awarded to a body of work that did not appear in print. In 2013, ProPublica won a Peabody Award. ProPublica is supported primarily by philanthropy and offers its articles for republication, both through its website and directly to leading news organizations selected for maximum impact. For more information, please visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit


Minhee Cho, Director of Public Relations, ProPublica

917-512-0231, [email protected]

Anusha Alikhan, Director of Communications, Knight Foundation,

305-908-2677, [email protected]