The nonprofit ProPublica has won its second Pulitzer Prize in as many years for a series on Wall Street bankers who sought to enrich themselves at the expense of clients and at times their own firms. Reporters Jesse Eisinger and Jake Bernstein uncovered the scandal, exposing some of the practices that ultimately worsened the financial crisis.
ProPublica is funded through Knight’s Investigative Reporting Initiative, a $15 million effort to help develop new economic models for investigative reporting on digital platforms. Grantees include News21, the Center for Investigative Reporting, ProPublica, the Center for Public Integrity and the Texas Tribune.
Paul Steiger, ProPublica editor-in-chief and CEO and a Knight trustee, said the point made by the series is critically important:
…the mores of Wall Street, at least in the period 2006-2008, were not consistent with the public interest or the national interest, and that greater oversight (and perhaps enforcement actions) may be in order. Our ultimate test for our work at ProPublica is impact, and we believe this reporting has helped spur activity by the SEC and the Congress — activity we continue to cover, as recently as twice this past week.
Congrats to the ProPublica team!