Trashed: Inside the Deadly World of Private Garbage Collection

The world of garbage collecting in New York City is split into night and day. By day, the 7,200 workers from the city’s Department of Sanitation collect the trash from residences, following a set number of routes for a set number of hours, “with a median base pay of $69,000 plus health care, a pension, almost four weeks of paid vacation.” By night, the private companies take over to collect the commercial garbage. For these workers the pay is low, the danger is high, and the darkness is neverending.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jan 4, 2018
Length: 39 minutes (9,800 words)

‘What Are We Going to Do About Tyler?’

A devastating indictment of America’s failure to treat mental illness. ProPublica reporter Sarah Smith tells the story of Tyler Haire, who was sent to jail at age 16 for a violent crime and then spent years locked away while waiting for a psychological evaluation. Tyler struggled since early childhood, but state services are underfunded and only designed to help when a crisis occurs. His family, frustrated and exhausted, was unable to find a way for him to get the help he needed — until it was too late.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Dec 28, 2017
Length: 41 minutes (10,280 words)

Racist, Violent, Unpunished: A White Hate Group’s Campaign of Menace

Described as an alt-right street-fighting club, California’s Rise Above Movement is actually organized crime. Its members train hard with one goal in mind: attacking the enemies of the far-right. They incite violent, they’re recruiting, and even though they document their attacks online, law enforcement aren’t doing enough about it.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Oct 19, 2017
Length: 20 minutes (5,086 words)

Open Burns, Ill Winds

An in-depth report on how munitions plants across America continue to irresponsibly dispose of bomb and bullet waste by “open burning.” The practice, banned 30 years ago, still takes place nearly every day under a permit loophole, putting millions of pounds of toxic chemicals and pollutants into the air, essentially poisoning residents and the environment.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jul 20, 2017
Length: 38 minutes (9,692 words)

How the U.S. Triggered a Massacre in Mexico

The inside story of a cartel’s deadly assault on a Mexican town near the Texas border — and the U.S. drug operation that sparked it.


Source: ProPublica
Published: Jun 12, 2017
Length: 38 minutes (9,500 words)

Kafka in Vegas

Despite a judge’s proclamation of of convict Fred Steese’s innocence, in light of new evidence and prosecutorial misconduct, the state offered him a bizarre deal called an Alford plea: go free, but remain a convicted felon.

Author: Megan Rose
Source: ProPublica
Published: May 26, 2017
Length: 32 minutes (8,225 words)

Revenge of the Forgotten Class

MacGillis talks to white workers in the small towns and cities of the Rust Belt, many of whom voted for Democrats in previous elections, but decided to vote for Trump in 2016.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Nov 10, 2016
Length: 17 minutes (4,437 words)

‘White Trash’ — The Original Underclass

The United States’ long, bleak history of poor whites and their troubles can help us understand how we’ve arrived at our current moment of political and social unrest in this country.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Aug 5, 2016
Length: 22 minutes (5,715 words)


Law enforcement across the U.S. use $2 kits to test for drug possession while out on the field, despite evidence showing that the tests routinely produce false positives. The effect on the lives of the falsely accused and convicted can be devastating.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Jul 7, 2016
Length: 29 minutes (7,261 words)

The NYPD Is Kicking People Out of Their Homes, Even If They Haven’t Committed a Crime

An investigation into the aggressive use of nuisance abatement actions by the NYPD in New York City.

Source: ProPublica
Published: Feb 4, 2016
Length: 27 minutes (6,956 words)