“ProPublica is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest.”

That is how this non-profit journalism site, let by Paul Steiger, the former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Stephen Engelberg, a former managing editor of The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon and former investigative editor of The New York Times, is ProPublica’s managing editor, describes itself.

They have initiated a series of investigations into the many financial corruptions scandals now breaking out as a result of the economic and business crisis now infecting America.

It makes for important and insightful reading, not the least because it reveals how so few took so many for so much!

This crisis is underpinned by theft and lies – by criminal acts that were either ignored or willfully accepted as the price of success.  And the investigations and court cases are only now beginning.

As an aside; ProPublica, despite lacking ‘cool tools’, or fancy multimedia, or even celebrity/entertainment gossip, appears to be quite successful.

They are one of a few such models being attempted by an industry that is struggling to find its way forward.  I find it interesting that a group of mainstream editors are in fact returning to the foundations of journalism; investigation, public interest, non-alliance with corporate advertisement dollars and  the avoidance of the push of profits.

I do not have data to judge how well these organizations are doing – though their reporting is first class.  I will add further information as I find it.

But I can only hope that this return to the responsibilities and intent of the 4th estate is successful and emulated by others.