NEW YORK NY – ProPublica Inc., a Pulitzer Prize-winning news agency headquartered in Manhattan, is soliciting home owners who have encountered problems with defective drywall to tell their stories to a national audience.
In an exercise that’s known among journalists as “crowdsourcing,” ProPublica is asking those who are “victims” of defective drywall to “take a moment to fill out our online form. With your help, we’ll be able to finally measure the scope and severity of this crisis,” it said.
Once information is received, ProPublica reporters follow up with home owners to confirm facts, gather more information, and flesh out details. In past reporting, its efforts have usually resulted in a series of stories – and occasionally video and podcasts – that delve deeply into the issue.
ProPublica is collaborating on the stories with the Sarasota FL Herald Tribune newspaper.
Crowdsourcing also is being used for a different ProPublica real estate-related series on the federal home loan modification program. “Nearly 800 struggling home owners have told ProPublica stories about their efforts to get a loan modification,” it reported.
Problem is, the response has been too overwhelming. ProPublica can use only a fraction of those in its coverage, it noted, so it wants to introduce those sources to local journalists working on similar stories. A sign-up form for them can be found here.
Photo from ProPublica