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Bringing Systemic Injustices to Light, One Long Read (or Listen) at a Time

The cops and the courts are meant to protect. But in communities from Baton Rouge to Buffalo, civilians are calling foul on the system, and holding those in power accountable for failing the communities they serve.

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American Journalism Project

Pocket has teamed up with the American Journalism Project to bring some of the best local journalism from across the country right to you—no matter where you live. Each month we’ll highlight deep dives into local stories with national impact—the kind of journalism that brings nuance and context to the major issues we face on a national scale. Read more about our partnership here and browse past collections to get your local fix.

Speaking truth to power is an essential element of democracy. And expanding the reach of that truth is one of the most vital roles of a free press. Here, we explore the tenacious reporting from publications ranging from The Marshall Project to Mississippi Today as they expose the different ways the system has failed our communities. Each of these journalists paints a fascinating, disheartening landscape of these failures, from a stalled—if not broken—promise to invest in the community of Buffalo’s East Side, to the effect North Carolina’s crumbling mental health system has on its inmate population.

Not only does their work center the experiences of communities typically underrepresented in the media; it pulls back the curtain on the misdeeds that a broken system relies on. Read on to see how these features shined a light on difficult, urgent transgressions, often paving the first steps toward a solution.

The Backchannel

Anna Wolfe
Mississippi Today

This Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation was the culmination of more than five years of reporting on the Mississippi welfare agency. When reporter Anna Wolfe found in 2017 that only a fraction of Mississippians who applied for direct cash assistance were receiving it, she wondered what the state was doing with the hundreds of millions in federal grants designed to help those people.

In the Dark

Clarissa Sosin
Verite News

This five-part investigative project goes deep into the Internal Affairs Division of the Baton Rouge Police Department, exploring how they delayed, denied and dismissed complaints without telling the citizens who made them.

Fractured [PODCAST]

Dana Miller Ervin

The mental health care system in North Carolina has been failing for years. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than those who get caught up in the criminal justice system, out of sight, therefore out of mind for the general public and policymakers. But their plight—and the brokenness of the mental health system—affects everyone in the state.

American Journalism Project

The American Journalism Project (AJP) is the first venture philanthropy dedicated to local news. AJP makes grants to local nonprofit news organizations to build their revenue and business operations, partner with communities to launch new organizations, and mentor leaders as they grow and sustain their newsrooms. Learn more about the independent, community-driven nonprofit news organizations AJP supports.