"There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil." –Walter Lippmann
Public Media Accountability Initiative
In 2017 four public radio news organizations joined APM Reports and pooled their investigative reporters to pursue journalism that exposes neglect, injustice, abuse and improper behavior among powerful people and organizations. In 2020 four new stations began working with us. We all believe that investigative reporting is central to public radio's mission of fully serving a community and a nation. The funding for the work comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
For years, many employees of Nashville's police department had been holding back a secret. Behind the department's blue wall, these people said, a toxic culture of misconduct and retaliation had scared many into silence. And the disciplinary system that was supposed to hold police accountable, they said, had allowed that culture to thrive.
High levels of PFAS chemicals have contaminated a plastics recycling company in the Western Kentucky community of Henderson.
More than a year into the pandemic, many details about Covid testing remain unclear to the public, including how much the tests will cost taxpayers and how effective they really are. Nowhere is that more evident than in Minnesota.
Up until 2019, the agency regulating Utah’s massive youth treatment industry rarely cited facilities for violating rules — even after cases of abuse. After a 2016 incident left a teenager with a concussion, state regulators listened to his mom’s complaint — and then did nothing about it.
An investigation finds at least five homeless people froze to death this winter after city officials declined to fund a 24-hour walk-in shelter.
When Gov. Andy Beshear's administration eased life-saving restrictions in December, more than twice as many people were dying of Covid-19 as the public knew, and Beshear focused his messaging on an optimistic and incomplete metric that's been questioned by top health researchers.
Utah has become a national center for youth treatment, and it goes easy on the industry. At one facility, teen girls were forced to sit in a horse trough as punishment, and state regulators chose not to punish the people who did it.
St. Louis officials stressed last spring that two downtown tent encampments posed a threat to public health, eventually relocating residents to temporary housing across the city. An investigation has found the city may have put residents in harm's way by placing them at hotels with a history of criminal violence, drug activity and unsanitary living conditions.
Critics question whether Utah's oversight is sufficient to keep kids safe.
Thousands of children are sent away to Utah for treatment at "troubled-teen" centers and wilderness programs. But it has been hard to identify which places have a good track record and which ones don’t. Until now.
A state backlog and reporting lags are obscuring the true death toll of the coronavirus surge.
Chemically restraining children is not allowed in a number of states — but it is permitted in Utah, where the so-called "troubled-teen" industry has thrived under light regulations. A bill sponsored by state Sen. Mike McKell could bring significant oversight to the industry, and would ban the use of chemical restraints unless a facility is given special permission.
Multiple current and former minority employees at the Metro Nashville Police Department claim they have faced backlash for challenging the status quo. MNPD is 82% and 89% male.
Homeownership is often considered a central part of the American dream. Atlanta residents in gentrifying Black neighborhoods have found it also makes them a target.
At the bottom rung of the SoCal rental market, some tenants live in insect- and mold-infested units, struggling to get their most basic maintenance needs met.
A WNYC investigation shows how auto lender Credit Acceptance took advantage of sub-prime borrowers to become a Wall Street darling.
Georgia removed a half-million voters from its rolls in 2017. The state deemed them inactive because they hadn't voted in several elections. But many had something else in common. Nearly 900 voters were registered to the addresses of Atlanta homeless service providers, according to an analysis by WABE and APM Reports.
State officials claimed that people removed from the voter rolls for inactivity had likely died or moved away. But an APM Reports investigation found tens of thousands who hadn't — and still wanted to vote.
Voter registration deadlines have long been a part of American elections, but an APM Reports investigation finds that they disenfranchised a surprising number of voters in 2018.
More than 80 years after Thomas Finch was killed, his case still hasn't been resolved.
Karen Countryman-Roswurm, director of the Center for Combating Human Trafficking at Wichita State University, says 13 girls who ran away from state custody and were later incarcerated for sex crimes should be viewed as children controlled by traffickers.
Hope Zeferjohn, a Topeka native, became a victim of the commercial sex trade while in state custody, ran away, and was sent to prison for aggravated human trafficking.
How LA's fight against sex trafficking is hurting vulnerable women.
Part of President Trump's tax law, opportunity zones are meant to spur new investment in poor areas by reducing taxes for the wealthy. How much those communities will benefit is unclear.
Tasers have become an essential tool for police, but how effective are they? An APM Reports investigation finds that officers in some big cities rated Tasers as unreliable up to 40 percent of the time, and in three large departments, newer models were less effective than older ones. In 258 cases over three years, a Taser failed to subdue someone who was then shot and killed by police.
The levees that failed last week during catastrophic flooding along the Missouri River were maintained by local associations or private owners.
Wavecrest Management's new tenants at a NYCHA project in Queens are happy — so far. But Bronx tenants and activists who've known the company longer? Not so much.
People placed in adult guardianship can lose their right to vote, and in Missouri, this happens far more than in any other state.
Most of the country is making it easier for former felons to vote. But in the South, the number of voters removed due to felonies has nearly doubled in the past decade.
Come in and sit down at Anita Parsa's kitchen table. Help yourself to the chocolate chip cookies and she'll get you an iced tea. Might as well make yourself comfortable. Because for the next hour, she's going to school you on a massive voter-tracking program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
A handful of states, most of them led by Republicans, are using someone's decision not to vote as the trigger for removing them from the rolls. No state has been more aggressive with this approach than Georgia, where Brian Kemp, the secretary of state, oversaw the purging of a growing number of voters ahead of his own run for governor, according to an APM Reports investigation. Voting rights advocates call it a new form of voter suppression, and they fear it will soon spread to other states.Update: Georgia governor signs law to slow 'use it or lose it'
Narene Stokes had the talk with her only son early on. It was the same conversation that generations of black parents have had with their children: When you're out in the world, be on your guard, protect yourself. If the police stop you, stay calm, do what they say. Stay alive.
A massive voter-tracking program run by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — which purports to help states keep voter rolls accurate — has halted operations over concerns about its own accuracy and security.
Puerto Rico is facing a human-made disaster to the tune of $120 billion. New York has played a big role: Wall Street banks helped fuel a borrowing spree and now a federal judge in Manhattan is overseeing the largest and possibly most complex bankruptcy in U.S. history. What comes out of it could affect cities and states across the United States.
It's been more than three years since the Google Fiber frenzy took hold of the Atlanta area. From Alpharetta to Avondale Estates, Sandy Springs to Sdmyrna, folks fed up with chronically unreliable internet connections, abysmal customer service and expensive monthly bills lapped up Google Fiber's promise.
Every night, some 43,000 people sleep on the streets of Los Angeles County in tents, cars and makeshift structures. So why do thousands of beds run by the biggest homeless agencies also sit empty each night?
Who's profiting from this administration and at what cost?
The protocol is less rigorous than best practices and the evaluator lacked the proper license. The city is taking steps to replace him, worried he screened out too many minority candidates.
If you have an idea or information that could lead to an investigation, contact us in one of the following ways.