Resource Center

Stories

 

 

 

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories — both print and broadcast.

These stories are searchable online or by contacting the Resource Center directly (573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org) where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Browse or search the tipsheet section of our library below. Stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center.

 

 

 



  • Who’s the Grossest Grocer in New York?

    In our “Grossest Grocer” series, Patch journalists uncovered dozens of grocery stores that could sicken the communities we serve, and made a vast database of state records available to the wider public for the first time. To find New York supermarkets with a history of food safety problems and tell their stories, we exclusively obtained a state database of inspection records through a Freedom of Information Law request and protracted negotiation with the state. Our editors spent months analyzing millions of violations observed by state inspectors, conferring with experts, and verifying our finds with on-the-ground reporting. We published more than 70 articles in this series, and an interactive map with detailed data on all of New York’s retail food stores -- more than 33,000 businesses, from corner bodegas to major grocery chains.

    Tags: groceries; stores; supermarkets; grocery stores; food safety

    By Martin Burch; Henry Powderly; John Ness; Matthew Hogan; Kevin Zawacki

    Patch.com

    2013

  • Disastrous Relief

    The Manitoba Association of Native Firefighters (or MANFF) was supposed to be an advocate for Aboriginal evacuees of the devastating Manitoba floods of 2011. Two First Nations communities were completely written-off by flood waters, leaving over 2,000 people homeless. MANFF was to make life easier for these evacuees as they waited-out government wrangling in hotels and rental houses scattered throughout the province, separated form loved ones and their home communities. $85 million (and counting) flowed through MANFF to care for these evacuees. And yet millions of dollars in bills went unpaid. Frustrated and frightened evacuees eventually contacted APTN with reports of bullying and mistreatment by MANFF staff. Melissa Ridgen looks for answers in APTN Investigates’ Season 5 premier, Disastrous Relief.

    Tags: disaster relief; floods

    By Melissa Ridgen; Paul Barnsley; Josh Grummett

    APTN

    2013

  • Ohio Board of Education

    In a unique collaborative effort, the Akron Beacon Journal and The NewsOutlet student journalism lab researched and published an investigative series on the Ohio State Board of Education, a body responsible for oversight of the education of 1.8 million school-age children and spending of $9 billion in public money. One board member has resigned due to a conflict of interest exposed by the project, and newspapers are calling for the resignation of another. We discovered a third member is a recipient of public education dollars and may be using them illegally. That story is in progress. We continue to receive letters to the editor and are told that complaints may have been filed with the state inspector general or ethics commission, neither of which will comment. The project also exposed a massive gap between board ideology on school choice and public/research opinion, leading to a larger examination of school choice in Ohio in 2014.

    Tags: board of education; public education; schools

    By Doug Livingston; Doug Oplinger

    Akron Beacon Journal

    2013

  • Drilling for Billions

    This series of stories focuses on the potential economic boost and environmental impact of extracting oil from Monterey Shale in Central California. To explore the topic 17 News traveled to western North Dakota to examine the impacts of their shale revolution. Experts in the piece explain the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing or fracking is used in shale booms. We explore the practice as it is done in California speaking with engineers on the forefront of exploration. According to industry, KGET is the only station ever allowed to speak with Central California industry engineers about the widely talked about oil completion practice used everyday in our community. 17 News was also granted unprecedented access to AERA Energy's exploration department taking a look at information even those in the industry are not privy to.

    Tags: environment; oil; fracking

    By Katey Rusch; Grant Simpson; Katey Rusch; Grant Simpson; Steve Womack

    KGET-TV (Bakersfield, Calif.)

    2013

  • L.A.'s Earthquake Risks

    The Los Angeles Times’ look at earthquake safety exposes how spotty mapping of faults, substandard construction and uneven regulation make hundreds of buildings in Southern California susceptible to collapse.

    Tags: earthquake; safety; buildings

    By Rong-Gong Lin II; Rosanna Xia; Doug Smith

    Los Angeles Times

    2013

  • The Congressman, the Safari King, and the Woman Who Tried to Look Like a Cat

    The specific focus of this series was the International Conservation Caucus Foundation and the lawmakers, polluting corporations, and environmental groups who benefit from it. The political genius of the foundation is that it has allowed ICCF member companies such as ExxonMobil to greenwash their reputations by funding ICCF member nonprofits, such as the Nature Conservancy. Meanwhile, corporate and nonprofit contributions to the foundation paid for "educational" lunches, dinners, galas and junkets, giving foundation members access to grateful members of Congress. These events -- and the foundation itself -- make a conscious effort to avoid discussing politically contentious topics like climate change, arguably the biggest conservation challenge of our time. The ICCF, which was founded by the former lobbyist of a Nigerian dictator who ordered the execution of nine nonviolent environmental protesters, is certainly notable in its own right. But what makes this series more important than a simple expose about a deeply conflicted foundation is that the ICCF is just one of many congressionally affiliated nonprofits that have popped up in part to skirt lobbying reforms instituted after the Jack Abramoff scandal. The most shocking thing about the ICCF and its ilk, according to government transparency advocates, is that most of what they are doing appears to be completely legal.

    Tags: lawmakers; International Conservation Caucus Foundation; politicians

    By Corbin Hiar; Nick Baumann; Maggie Caldwell

    Mother Jones

    2013

  • APTN Investigates: Abuse of Process

    This story is about the exploitation of vulnerable individuals - Aboriginal survivors of government Indian Residential School - by the very people who were supposed to be advocating on their behalf. In this story, the latest in a series of feature and news stories, we learn about a thug employed by a lawyer who uses strong-arm tactics to enroll news clients into his lawyer's firm and to extort money from the survivors.

    Tags: lawyers

    By Kathleen Martens; Paul Barnsley

    APTN

    2013

  • Deals for Developers, Cash for Campaigns

    D.C. routinely awards real estate subsidies to encourage development but there has been little scrutiny of them and plenty of questions. For instance, how much have the subsidies cost taxpayers over time and are they really needed when the city has one of the country’s hottest real estate markets? The reporters examined thousands of pages of city documents on 110 developments receiving city subsidies in the past decade and nearly 100,000 campaign contributions for council, mayoral and other local races over that time. The investigation found the city awarded $1.7 billion in subsidies in the past decade — and more than a third went to ten developers that donated the most campaign cash over that time. A dozen developers spent the most campaign cash the year their subsidy was approved and there were 10 dates in which three or more companies developing a project together donated to a single candidate on the same day. What’s more, less than five percent of the subsidies went to the city’s poorest areas with a fourth of the city’s population, and developers failed to deliver on pledged public benefits for at least half the projects examined.

    Tags: real estate; subsidies; developers; campaign; political donations

    By Julie Patel; Patrick Madden;

    WAMU

    2013

  • South Korean Spy Agency’s Illegal Campaigning on SNS Before 2012 Presidential Election

    Newstapa, also known as Korea Center for Investigative Journalism, investigated suspicions about the spy agency’s involvement in the presidential election of 2012, since early March, 2013. With the use of a social web analysis tool, Newstapa disclosed some 600 Twitter accounts suspected to be related to the spy agency. After studying Social Network Analysis of 280,000 Twitter postings, it revealed that at least 10 groups systematically operated on Twitter. The in-depth reporting exploited social science research methods to disclose the involvement of South Korea’s highest-level intelligence agency, which is banned from political meddling, in the presidential election of 2012. The findings of the reports have been confirmed to be true by prosecutors’ investigations.

    Tags: spy; presidential election; social media; spy agency; intelligence agency; election; politics; Twitter

    By Kihoon Choi; Hyunmi Cho; Daeyang Oh; Kangmin Kim; Yunwon Choi; Hyejin Kwon; Sunghyon Kyeong

    Newstapa

    2013

  • Toxic Legacy

    Employees of Technicoat, a metal coating company based in Fort Worth in the ‘70s and 80s, hired teenagers to dispose of industrial waste and harmful chemicals. None of the employees went through any kind of safety training or were given protective gear. Now many of the company’s former employees have either died from illnesses linked to chemical exposure or are currently battling illnesses that are likely related to being exposed to chemicals during their tenure at Technicoat. The story found that the city of Fort Worth and the Tarrant Regional Water District are still dealing with the environmental impact of the company’s illegal chemical dumping – sometimes down storm drains, in holes dug in the ground, or straight into the Trinity River – as the area that housed the Technicoat plant is being redeveloped. It also discovered that the company blatantly disregarded federal safety standards and was fined multiple times by different federal, state, and local agencies for environmental and safety violations.

    Tags: environment; chemical dumping; plant

    By Eric Griffey; Gayle Reaves-King

    Fort Worth Weekly

    2013