PRM publishes reports that analyze public data, and original articles that provide depth and context to newsworthy events.
PRM has published document-driven investigations of newsworthy events. In 2012, PRM published a documentary history of the controversy surrounding Minnesota’s participation in the federal “Medicaid” program. Two years earlier, a controversy had arisen at the Minnesota Legislature over the financial transparency of Minnesota’s public health care programs, including its Medicaid-funded programs. These programs are funded by public money but administered by private, non-profit HMOs. State senators on both sides of the aisle began asking whether public funds were reaching those who needed care, or whether they were getting absorbed by the system. The issue was complex – with extensive documentation and a twenty-year history – but one of significant interest to the tax paying public.
PRM requested and received key public documents providing significant insight into the matter, and compiled the data in an accessible, online, narrative history of the issue that hyperlinked to public documents stored in PRM’s web archive. Since the report was first posted in 2012, government agencies, media outlets, and academic institutions around the country have accessed it.
In another instance, PRM used public records requests to obtain investigative data about the controversial shooting of an East Bethel, Minnesota man by the Anoka County SWAT team. PRM used public records to substantiate details from the police reports, as well as to evaluate claims made by witnesses to the raid. The resulting document-driven story constructed a full picture of the event to supplement the coverage of the local media. Our work also uncovered photos of the scene that were withheld from the investigative report given to the family,