Resource Center





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 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.




Search results for "International Courts" ...

  • The Most Unequal Place in America

    To the IRE Award Judges: Income inequality has been the subject of countless news stories in recent years – but rarely do these stories go beyond numbers to explain to readers and viewers why the gap between rich and poor in the United States actually matters. And rarely if ever do the reporters behind those stories try to become part of a solution. CNN Digital columnist John Sutter and videographer Edythe McNamee traveled to America’s little-known epicenter of income inequality -- East Carroll Parish, Louisiana, which, according to census data, has the widest rich-poor gap in the nation -- to try to make this uber-story tangible for CNN’s readers. Their work was commissioned by CNN’s audience, which voted last summer on the five topics they consider to be the top social justice issues of our time. The vote and the stories on East Carroll Parish were part of CNN’s innovative Change the List project. The goal, as the name suggests, is to do reporting that could help bump East Carroll Parish off the bottom of the list for income inequality. It’s democratic journalism with a goal: Create real change in the world on behalf of the audience. Sutter and McNamee powerfully told the story of one woman, Delores Gilmore, who lives on the south side of Lake Providence, the body of water that neatly and cruelly divides rich from poor in her community. Gilmore, a single mom who works as an overnight prison guard, doesn’t know what life is like on the richer side of the lake, where landowners live in manicured estates with private tennis courts and docks. That story, “The most unequal place in America,” resonated with readers in a way other income inequality pieces haven’t. "I watched this video and read the article this morning sitting in my 1,400-square-foot house, on my iPad. By the end I was bawling,” one reader wrote in response to the stories. “I have been one of those that bemoaned government assistance and had that 'bootstrap' mentality. However, as your article suggests, how can that happen when there are places where there are no opportunities to be had?" In addition to commissioning this series, readers started online petitions urging politicians to address income inequality; uploaded and shared photos of lines that divide the rich from poor in their communities; and submitted iReports saying how their income makes them feel in modern America, where the middle class is increasingly hollowed out. Readers also asked how they could help non-profits in rural Louisiana. Dozens wrote personal e-mails to Sutter asking how they could help Delores Gilmore. A young woman from East Carroll Parish told Sutter she plans to start a non-profit organization to build a literal bridge across Lake Providence, because of the coverage. CNN proudly nominates John Sutter and Edythe McNamee for an IRE Award. Sincerely, Steve Goldberg, Senior Enterprise Producer, CNN Digital The most unequal place in America ‘Surviving’s about the best you can do’ How to help Lake Providence, Louisiana 10 heroes of Income Inequality, USA ‘Cross the gap’ on income inequality 7 ways to narrow the rich-poor gap 5 things the world could teach America about economic justice What is income inequality, anyway? CNN’s Change the List:

    Tags: Income inequality;

    By John Sutter



  • Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.

    An investigation of the history and practices of the Church of Scientology. IRE Award Judges’ comments: Wright's investigation of the Church of Scientology is groundbreaking in its examination of one of the most well-known, but secretive religion organizations in the world. He draws on previously secret documents-- including internal works of the church's founder L. Ron Hubbard--interviews with former and current members of the church and hundreds of court records to present a hard- hitting, but balanced view of church and its followers. The book shines a light on the church's harsh treatment of those who try to leave, but also highlights those, including some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, who have benefited from its teachings. The book also explores the complicated biography of the church's founder and its relationship with its most famous member, actor Tom Cruise. Despite threats from the church, which is known of its aggressive defense of of its works and members, this work provides the best understanding of Scientology to date.

    Tags: book; Scientology; L. Ron. Hubbard; religion

    By Lawrence Wright


  • The NSA Files

    In a series of investigative stories based on top-secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents leaked by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, the Guardian US revealed the vast scale and scope of domestic and international surveillance programs, the close relationship between technology companies and intelligence agencies, and how technology is leading to widespread, indiscriminate and routine mass collection of telephone and internet data of millions of Americans. Guardian US reporting has shed unprecedented light on inadequate oversight over surveillance activities and how secretive and outdated laws have failed to keep up with changing technology. On June 5, 2013, the Guardian US was the first to reveal a FISA court order showing how “under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk.” On June 9, in an exclusive video interview and Q&A published at, the source of the leaks revealed himself as Edward Snowden. The Verizon story would be the first of a series of extensive revelations (enclosed for consideration with this entry) that exposed the scale and sophistication of surveillance programs and the secret laws that govern them. The Guardian’s reporting prompted vigorous debate in the US and around the world. The stories have dominated headlines and driven news agendas worldwide. The disclosures exposed misleading statements by senior US administration officials and elicited responses from the highest levels of government -- including The White House, the Office of Director of National Intelligence, Congress and the courts. They prompted numerous legal challenges, Congressional hearings and legislation calling for reform, increased oversight and transparency for NSA programs.

    Tags: NSA; Edward Snowden; surveillance; national intelligence

    By Glenn Greenwald; Ewen MacAskill; Laura Poitras

    Guardian (New York)


  • Medical Marijuana

    Loose restrictions in state law and scant oversight by regulators have allowed people to hijack Oregon’s medical marijuana program for purposes voters never intended, The Oregonian’s investigation revealed. Most patients are using the drug to treat chronic pain rather than terminal illness, far more marijuana is grown than patients consume, and traffickers ship the excess out of state for profit. At the heart of the yearlong investigation was a wide range of public records. First there were written documents: court records and police reports on medical marijuana growers; disciplinary actions against doctors who admit patients to the state program; internal policy manuals; and correspondence between regulators and doctors. Then there were electronic data. Through months of negotiations, the paper persuaded state health authorities to release a database of participants in the marijuana program that protected patient confidentiality. A separate database on Oregon State Police traffic stops helped us to demonstrate the widespread diversion of medical marijuana to the black market. Among the investigation’s original results, published as an occasional series: Communities in southern Oregon have concentrations of marijuana patients 10 times the statewide average; Police patrolling Oregon’s highways now seize more West Coast medical marijuana than pot grown outside the program; The state places few limitations on felons participating in the program, and dozens of trafficking prosecutions involve medical marijuana cardholders with existing criminal histories; Fifty-two children are legally permitted to use pot under the state program, with limited input from pediatricians or specialists treating their underlying illnesses; Nine doctors signed off on more than half the patients in the program, and 75 percent of patients used doctors with improbably high caseloads.

    Tags: Medical marijuana; Oregon; Public records

    By Noelle Crombie

    Oregonian (Portland


  • Bad to the Bone

    When four executives of a medical-device company called Synthes went to jail for illegally marketing a bone cement—five patients had died after it was injected into their spines—Mina Kimes knew there had to be a compelling saga behind a case that had generated little coverage beyond local news articles. So she began digging, first with FOIA requests for never-before-published government documents, and then assembling hundreds of pages of court transcripts and internal company e-mails and reports. She used that foundation to begin the harder challenge: persuading Synthes employees, many of them terrified by the criminal case and the company’s intimidating chairman, to talk to her. With six months of grueling, old-fashioned reporting, Kimes succeeded, and “Bad to the Bone” is the masterful result. Not only did she persuade more than 20 current and former company employees to speak, but she also revealed a story whose disturbing breadth far exceeded the case presented in court. Her tour de force reporting raises profound new questions about the culpability of a key figure who wasn’t charged: Hansjörg Wyss, the reclusive and controlling Swiss founder and chairman—one of the richest people in the world—who made crucial decisions about how to sell the bone cement. This is a classic tale of corporate malfeasance: Warned by the government not to sell its bone cement for use in the spine, Synthes ignored the admonition despite clear evidence of lethal danger—a pig had died within seconds when the cement was tested on it—and encouraged surgeons to use the cement on people, five of whom died soon afterward. But “Bad to the Bone” isn’t just an exposé. It opens a window into a broader issue: how the medical system actually runs. Readers see how salespeople with no medical training advise surgeons—inside the OR during operations—on how to use their devices. They experience the tale of one surgeon who continues using the cement even after two of his patients died. Oh, and what sort of justice does Synthes itself receive? Wyss sells it, for $20 billion, to health care giant Johnson & Johnson, which praises Synthes’s “culture” and “values.” Corporate crime. Death on the operating room table. Secret e-mails. Surgeons on the edge. An imperious multibillionaire CEO. It’s a mesmerizing article, and Kimes’s reporting takes readers on a deeply unsettling journey that ensures they’ll never look at the medical system the same way again.

    Tags: Medical devices; bone cement; Synthes

    By Mina Kimes

    Fortune Magazine


  • The Price of Bananas

    In Colombia a paramilitary death squad named the "head-cutters" have killed and tortured many residents, but what few know is that the group was paid for years by corporations doing business in the area. One of the companies was Chaquita Brands International, which admitted making $1.7 million "protection" payments over a six-year period.

    Tags: execution; torture; Fernando Aguirre; Salvatore Mancuso; extortion; Mendellin

    By Jeff Fager; Patti Hassler; Bill Owens; Steve Kroft; Andy Court

    CBS News


  • Justice Capsized?

    "An investigation of the U.S. Coast Guard's administrative law system, based on internal memos, interviews, the sworn statement of an agency judge and a computer data analysis of thousands of cases, suggests the system in stacked against the hundreds of civilian mariners whose charges of negligence or misconduct are handled by the courts each year. Documents and computer records show that Coast Guards leaders encourage judges to rule in the agency's favor, sometimes in violation of federal laws."

    Tags: Coast Guard; justice; law system; mariners; seaman; seagoers

    By Robert Little

    Baltimore Sun


  • Waiting for Justice

    After the ethnic slaughter in the Balkans, Bosnia-Herzegovina's state court was going to take over trying war criminals charged with genocide, mass rape and torture. It has not happened. Millions of euros were spent to build a War Crimes Chamber, but not a single trial has been held, and hundreds of suspects live free among the same people they are charged with terrorizing.

    Tags: war crimes; genocide; Balkans; terrorism; international court; Freedom of Information

    By Mirsad Brkic;Svjetlana Celic;Ida Donlagic;Zeljka Gutalj;Eldina Pleho;Zoran Popovic;Renata Radic;Lidija Pisker;Collin Haba

    Center for Investigative Reporting - Bosnia Herzegovina


  • Detroit's Terror Trial

    In 2003, three men in Detroit were tried on charges of terror-related crimes. They were all of Arab descent and had phony passports. After all three were convicted, reporters conducted an investigation of the trial and found that at least a hundred documents had been withheld from defense lawyers and the chief witness against the men was an international con-artist. The convictions were thrown out and the prosecutor was charged with misconduct.

    Tags: war on terror; attorney general John Ashcroft; Patriot Act; sleeper-cells; terrorism; consititutional rights; civil rights; FBI; justice department; federal court

    By David Shephardson;Norman Sinclair;Ronald J. Hanson

    Detroit News


  • Cheated by the Law

    Rolah McCabe successfully sued British American Tobacco in 2002 when the judge "ruled that BAT and Clayton Utz had destroyed internal documents denying her a fair trial." It was overturned on appeal. However after McCabe's win Utz conducted a secret internal investigation. "The Sunday Age published the details of the internal investigation and put the documents online" after they were leaked to Birnbauer.

    Tags: court; internal investigation; lung cancer; British American Tobacco; corporation; professional misconduct; Clayton Utz; Rolah McCabe

    By William Birnbauer

    Age, The (Melbourne, Australia)