Inspiring Action and Accountability

Chief medical examiner resigned

The first story we published, about the city’s makeshift morgue in a downtown parking garage and the unprecedented autopsy backlog of more than 200 bodies, led to the resignation of the chief medical examiner one week later. Within a few weeks, federal authorities came in to help the city clear its backlog.

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ABC Capital files for bankruptcy

We began reporting on a Philadelphia-based developer, ABC Capital, that was attracting foreign investors to renovate and rent out formerly distressed or vacant Baltimore homes. Our investigation revealed dozens of homes were neither renovated nor occupied. The company recently filed for bankruptcy following our coverage.

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Health department withdraws requests for contracts

Coverage of state employee labor unions that were trying to stop privatization of health care services led to the health department withdrawing requests that would have allowed them broad powers to approve two health care contracts worth millions of dollars.

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Councilwoman withdraws bill proposal that would've violated environmental protections

Our story on a local bill in Baltimore County that would exempt business owners from some environmental protection requirements, included comments from the attorney general’s office that it “seems clear” it would violate state laws. The councilwoman proposing the bill withdrew it before it was even discussed by the council.

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State delegate moves forth on predatory real estate buying legislation

We reported a story on a real estate company providing cash payments to homeowners who were strapped for cash, but the fine print included a long-term, exclusive right to list their property for 40 years. Following the articles, a state delegate announced plans to introduce legislation to restrict this type of predatory practice.

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Orleans Street crashes

An analysis of traffic crashes on Orleans Street published in July, voiced resident’s desire for increased action to address continuing traffic concerns. Our article was a factor in the Baltimore City Department of Transportation conducting a traffic calming study by the end of the year.

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Improvements to city eviction prevention programs

Our reporting on rental assistance delays that left Baltimore tenants at risk for eviction led to Baltimore City announcing improvements to its eviction prevention programs including committing an additional $400,000 to a program that provides legal representation to tenants facing eviction and other improvements.

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Maryland Park Service superintendent and park officials removed after investigation

In-depth coverage of the toxic work culture at Gunpowder Falls State Park has brought visibility to years of complaints and resulted in the removal of the superintendent of Maryland Park Service and two other park officials. The investigation by The Banner gave a voice to many staff who had followed proper channels without seeing any action taken.

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Telling Untold, Uplifting Stories

Monique Smith's birth certificate released

Reporting by The Banner led New York officials to release the birth certificate of Baltimore’s Monique Smith, known as the “longest living Jane Doe.” After years of searching, she finally discovered her real name and birthday, and we were there.

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Local family gets to see NASA spacecraft demonstration

Our West Baltimore neighborhood reporter profiled a local family’s heart-warming story about a dad who built a makeshift launchpad for his kids in a vacant lot. The story was shared with the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and the family was invited to a private event to watch a NASA spacecraft collide with an asteroid. FUN FACT: The dad from this story is now a photographer for The Baltimore Banner!

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Dance lesson on the Park Heights Strut

The viral Park Heights Strut from TikTok got a new spin from West Baltimore native Bunkey Jr. who gave a dance lesson to The Baltimore Banner, showing off the many contributions of the Baltimore music and dance scene; even Sean “Diddy” Combs got in on the trend.

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Serving Communities

Emergency water contamination coverage

In September, West Baltimore residents were directly affected by E. Coli contamination in their water. The Banner provided extensive coverage including a Q&A and history of Baltimore’s water systems. Baltimore residents shared their gratitude for The Banner’s work on multiple platforms.

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Hearing on SNAP benefits issues

The Banner wrote about the sharp decline in enrollment for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) among the state’s qualified populations, which spurred an influx of engagement from our subscribers and validated the community’s authentic experiences. That led Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson to schedule a public hearing for September 20th about potential fraud and notification issues. A proposed bill was introduced to Congress in November that would reimburse federal funds to people whose assistance was stolen.

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Reporting on food deserts and grocery store prices

A story on what it’s like to go shopping in a food desert in Baltimore’s Midtown-Edmondson neighborhood received tremendous positive reactions from the community. The accompanying video on TikTok and Instagram reached nearly 680,000 people. An accompanying story also compared prices at 10 different grocery stores to help readers find the lowest prices.

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Coverage on compounding issues in childcare for Latino families

One of our neighborhood reporters wrote about the barriers that Latino families face in accessing child care. Highlighting one of the fastest growing populations in Baltimore, the story identifies compounding issues including lack of Spanish-speaking childcare providers, daunting voucher and scholarship programs, and highlights community groups such as the Esperanza Center that helps Latino parents fund daycare options.

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Election Coverage & Voter Guide

Constructing local maps for election coverage

Our newsroom’s service journalism and data-first mindset were on display during the summer primary elections for several offices in Baltimore and the state’s gubernatorial race. As a result of a vastly delayed redistricting process, the Maryland Board of Elections did not release updated precinct-level maps prior to the primaries taking place on July 18th. The newsroom’s data team constructed approximations of precinct-level maps using polling locations as the points to establish voting regions, as a proxy for the new precinct boundaries. When readers wrote in suggesting the inclusion of neighborhood boundaries, the team added that data too. The Banner was also the only news organization to release precinct-level data in the general election.

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Events, guides and a debate during the 2022 election

In addition to our political coverage, The Banner has hosted a number of promote the vote events this fall, provided a very extensive voter guide which received over 67,000 views and great feedback from our readers, participated in the Maryland governor’s debate, and provided Election Night analysis on partner WJZ-13 and the following day on WYPR.

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Help us report stories like this

As a nonprofit news organization, The Baltimore Banner is committed to providing information you can trust. From breaking news to the too-often untold, inspiring stories from our neighborhoods. Your additional tax-deductible gift will allow us to keep reporting stories like this.

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Hear from Our Reporters

What Our Readers Say

"Thank you for writing the most comprehensive article on the violence in Baltimore that I have read in my more than half of a century living and working in the city...”

“I am in awe. You and your editors are putting on an absolute master class in how to move a story step by step for maximum impact. Keep it up. It's making a difference.”

“I am especially impressed by the quality of your writing, investigation and perspectives. Bravo! Keep up the good work. I am thoroughly enjoying my subscription to The Baltimore Banner.”

“Thank you for your excellent reporting on this story. I’m glad to see The Banner is putting some effort into good strong public service journalism. Keep up the great work.”

“You have brought 1st class journalism back to Baltimore. Love living in a city that has this level of scrutiny/accountability.”

“I have never written to any other journalist before in my life, but your investigation and series of articles about the Park Service fiasco are so outstanding that I must congratulate you once again.”

"I absolutely love your piece. It is factual, historically accurate, humanizing and most importantly heartfelt! You did an excellent job."

“You are doing a wonderful job with the local news, keep it up...”