Resource Center


The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 26,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364573-882-3364  or where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

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  • The Record: Investigating the Port Authority

    Shawn Boburg's reporting on the Port Authority resulted in two eye-opening stories that garnered international attention: one that revealed the hidden origins of a secret deal involving the naming rights of the World Trade Center; another that unraveled the true cause of a vindictive traffic jam orchestrated by Governor Chris Christie's loyalists and directed at one of his political enemies. Boburg found that the naming rights of the World Trade Center, one of the country's most iconic symbols, was sold in 1986 to a nonprofit that was run by a retiring Port Authority executive. Guy Tozzoli made millions of dollars from the deal, which went unnoticed for decades until Boburg's story prompted an investigation by the New York State Attorney General. Boburg also produced a series of investigative stories that challenged the official line about lane closures near the world's busiest bridge, eventually uncovering e-mails that linked the closures to the governor's office and forcing Christie to apologize and get rid of key advisors. Aside from a series of news breaks that kept the pressure on for months, Boburg was also the first to report on the e-mails that sent shockwaves through the Christie administration.

    Tags: Chris Christie; World Trade Center

    By Shawn Boburg

    The Record (New Jersey)


  • NSA and the Snowden files

    For six months, The Washington Post was on the leading edge of reporting on the National Security Agency and the documents leaked by former contractor Edward Snowden. It began by becoming the first news outlet to disclose PRISM, a massive program to vacuum up e-mails, documents and other electronic records from the largest U.S. Internet companies. Later, The Post revealed the NSA’s repeated violations of its own privacy rules; examined the workings of the secretive federal court overseeing surveillance activities; exposed the NSA’s clandestine collection of millions of e-mail address books globally; and broke the news that the agency was gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world. The Post shattered the decades-long secrecy surround the intelligence community’s “black budget,” publishing an in-depth story based on the budget summary for fiscal 2013 and disclosing unprecedented details about spending levels in graphics in print and online. At the end of the year, reporter Bart Gellman conducted the first in-person interview with Snowden in Russia.

    Tags: NSA; Snowden; leaks; surveillance; wire tap

    By Barton Gellman; Laura Poitras; Ashkan Soltani; Julie Tate; Ellen Nakashima; Peter Wallsten; Carol Leonnig; Alice Crites; Greg Miller

    The Washington Post


  • 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


  • As Mine Protections Fail, Black Lung Cases Surge

    A joint investigation by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity mined government databases and analyzed together for the first time ever, coal dust enforcement records and black lung occurrence data. We compiled what appear to be the most comprehensive accounts to date of an unexpected reemergence of black lung, sharp increases among younger miners, rapid progression to the most serious stages, widespread fraudulent coal dust testing by industry, weaknesses and loopholes in federal regulations, and ineffective enforcement by federal regulators. We asked Ken Ward Jr., the veteran coal industry reporter at the Charleston Gazette, to contribute web and print stories about the history of failed government regulation, as well as fraudulent coal dust testing specifically at the Upper Big Branch mine, where 29 miners died in an explosion fueled by coal dust in 2010. Our reporting prompted the Labor Department to establish an internal team to review the agency's enforcement of coal dust regulations, according to internal agency e-mails obtained by NPR. Federal regulators stepped up coal dust enforcement, targeting mines with a history of violations. Members of Congress cited the series in calling for tougher regulations, and one group launched a petition drive demanding action.

    Tags: mining; miners; black lung disease; coal dust; government

    By Howard Berkes, correspondent; Andrea de Leon, editor; Sandra Bartlett, radio producer



  • Wired for Repression

    Bloomberg's series "Wired for Repression" revealed the extent to which Western companies have sold surveillance systems to authoritarian countries, including Iran, Syria, Bahrain and Tunisia, which have used them to track, imprison, torture and kill. The newest newest artillery for reprssive regimes, the gear allows authorities to intercept their citizens' e-mails and text messages, monitor Internet activity and locate political targets through cell phone technology.

    Tags: torture; surveillance; imprisonment; censorship

    By Vernon Silver; Ben Elqin

    Bloomberg Markets (Princeton, N.J.)


  • University Alert System Fails

    An armed robbery taking place just feet off of the University of Miami campus failed to trigger a system-wide emergency notification. The text messages and e-mails meant to alert students and faculty of the danger were never sent out. CBS4 uncovers the failure.

    Tags: armed robbery; University of Miami; alert; system; fail; students; crime; gunmen; e-mails; text messages; emergency;

    By Gio Benitez; Waverly Allen;

    WFOR-TV (Miami)


  • Speaker Richardson

    Georgia state politics fell apart after House Speaker Glenn Richardson's ex-wife revealed he'd had an affair and had lied about attempting suicide. His wife also had e-mails detailing how a lobbyist had aided her now ex-husband with the adultery. Richardson resigned and eventually the other "top three" House leaders were voted out of their positions.

    Tags: Glenn Richardson; Susan Richardson; affair; ethics; Atlanta Gas Light; Georgia house speaker; Raymon White

    By Dale Russell; Mindy Larcom; Travis Shields; Randall Rinehart; Michael Carlin

    WAGA-TV (Atlanta)


  • "E-scam nation still thriving"

    An e-mail scam promising University of Iowa students several hundred dollars a week for online employment invaded the inboxes of more than 21,000 student in January 2009. Xin Feng, a recipient of the e-mail, purposefully accepted the fraudulent offer to learn more about the scam and trace its source.

    Tags: scam; spam; e-mail; university of iowa; e-scam; internet; fraud; online

    By Xin Feng

    The Daily Iowan (Iowa City, Iowa)


  • Hospital Sexual Assaults

    The reporter investigated sexual assaults on patients at hospitals in the Phoenix area, and the reporting led to criminal convictions for three hospital staff members. In March 2008, the station received an e-mail saying staff at a Scottsdale hospital didn't call police after a stroke patient told them she was sexually assaulted in her bed. After the original report aired, other people came forward with similar stories. After a public records request from the police department, the reporter found sex crimes against patients at about a dozen Phoenix-area hospitals. Most cases were never solved. Ptosecutors criminally charged employees at the original Scottsdale hospital with violations of Arizona's vulnerable adults law. Three were convicted and one received jail time. Several hospitals in the Phoenix are have reviewed and improved their patient security as a result of these reports.

    Tags: public records; sexual assault; hospitals; Arizona; Phoenix; patient assault; hospital patients

    By Melissa Blasius; Jay McSpadden; Garrett Wichmann, Scott Hohenshell; Rich Prange

    KPNX-TV (Phoenix)


  • The Fall of Ohio's Attorney General

    While top state officials from Elliot Spitzer to Rod Blagojevich fell from grace in 2008, no one was pushed out the door through dogged reporting by the press -- in this case, The Columbus Dispatch -- quite like Ohio's attorney general, Marc Dann. Information from a variety of sources and examination of voluminous e-mails and documents led to stories detailing sexual harassment and a shockingly unprofessional, party-like atmosphere of high-ranking Dann officials, including ribald festivities at the so-called "Dannimal House," the condo where he lived along with a pair of top aides. The Dispatch also broke stories about other misdeeds ranging from questionable campaign expenditures, shaky hiring practices and suspect purchases, as well as a proposed trip by Dann to a "law enforcement conference" in Turkey with his female scheduler. Although her trip, bankrolled by homeland security money, was nixed, the paper documented how Dann called her (on the taxpayers' dime via satellite phone) more often than his wife. Dann, 45, later admitted an affair with the scheduler, 28.

    Tags: misconduct; attorney general; Ohio; Marc Dann; resignation; sexual harassment; campaign finance

    By James Nash; Alan Johnson

    Dispatch (Columbus, Ohio)