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.

 

 

 



Search results for "fail" ...

  • Can You Fight Poverty With A Five-Star Hotel?

    My story is about the World Bank’s private investing arm, the International Finance Corporation, the IFC. It reveals that the IFC is a profit-oriented, deal-driven organization that not only fails to fight poverty, its stated mission, but may exacerbate it in its zeal to earn a healthy return on investment. The article details my investigation through hundreds of primary source and other documents, dozens of interviews around the world and my trip to Ghana to see many projects first-hand, to recount that the IFC hands out billions in cut-rate loans to wealthy tycoons and giant multinationals in some of the world’s poorest places. My story details the IFC’s investments with a who’s who of giant multinational corporations: Dow Chemical, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Vodafone, and many more. It outlines that the IFC funds fast-food chains like Domino's Pizza in South Africa and Kentucky Fried Chicken in Jamaica. It invests in upscale shopping malls in Egypt, Ghana, the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. It backs candy-shop chains in Argentina and Bangladesh; breweries with global beer behemoths like SABMiller and with other breweries in the Czech Republic, Laos, Romania, Russia, and Tanzania; and soft-drink distribution for the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and their competitors in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mali, Russia, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, and more. The criticism of most such investments -- from a broad array of academics, watchdog groups and local organizations in the poor countries themselves -- is that these investments make little impact on poverty and could just as easily be undertaken without IFC subsidies. In some cases, critics contend, the projects hold back development and exacerbate poverty, not to mention subjecting affected countries to pollution and other ills.

    Tags: finance; bank; investments; poverty

    By c einhorn

    ProPublica

    2013

  • Back Home: The Enduring Battles Facing Post-9/11 Veterans

    Since Sept.11, 2001, more than 2.6 million veterans have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to a county largely unprepared to meet their needs and a government that has failed on multiple levels to fulfill the obligations demanded by Congress and promised by both Republican and Democratic administrations. This eight-month investigation documents these failures and others issues in a multimedia platform that includes interactive graphics, video and written storytelling, photographs and a documentary.

    Tags: veterans; student project; News21; vetrans' bonuses; suicide; charity; sexual assault; soldiers

    By This project was produced by 26 students from 12 universities working under the direction of a team of editors led by Leonard Downie Jr. and Jacquee Petchel

    News 21 (Phoenix, Ariz.)

    2013

  • Hanford's Dirty Secrets

    “Hanford’s Dirty Secrets” exposed mismanagement, wasted tax dollars and a cover-up by government officials and private contractors at the country’s most contaminated site -- the Hanford Nuclear Reservation located in Washington state -- where the most complex environmental cleanup effort in human history is underway. The liquid and solid waste housed at Hanford is dangerously radioactive and toxic, and any leak has the potential to pose serious threats to human and environmental health throughout the Pacific Northwest. The federal government produced plutonium at Hanford for the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan and for the U.S. nuclear arsenal throughout the Cold War. This production left behind millions of gallons of cancer-causing nuclear byproducts, much of which remains stored in aging underground tanks at Hanford. KING’s reporting showed that the government contractor in charge of the tanks ignored signs of leaking nuclear waste for nearly a year while the company collected millions in bonus money from the Dept. of Energy for its "very successful" stewardship of the waste holding tanks. In addition, we revealed that during the year the contractor failed to address the leak, the company wasted millions of taxpayer funds on a project rendered useless by the very fact that the tank was leaking

    Tags: nuclear waste; Hanford; radioactive; toxins; Dept of Energy

    By usannah Frame, reporter; Steve Douglas, photojournalist; Russ Walker, Executive Producer; John Vu, graphic designer; Mark Ginther, News Director

    KING-TV (Seattle)

    2013

  • 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 theguardian.com, 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)

    2014

  • Bad Cop

    A Times Investigation of a legendary Brooklyn detective revealed such widespread flaws in his tactics -- cajoling witnesses, failing to record confessions and treating informants to outings with prostitutes -- that the Brooklyn district attorney opened an unprecedented review of 55 of the detective's cases, two convicted men have been freed (with more likely), and the D.A. lost his bid for a seventh term.

    Tags: police; corruption

    By Frances Robles; N.R. Kleinfield; Sharon Otterman; Michael Powell

    The New York Times

    2013

  • Welfare Exposed

    Through a persistent and meticulous investigation, this series of reports exposed how Pennsylvania tax dollars are being carelessly mishandled by the state's most funded, yet most secretive, department: Public Welfare. This investigation broke new ground in detailing how the state is failing to protect taxpayer dollars. From big-time lottery winners still collecting to cultural rot within the department, this series shocked the department's own Secretary, who called our findings "appalling." Via privacy laws, the state has created a system that limits its own accountability. This series circumvented those limitations.

    Tags: tax dollars; taxpayers; public welfare

    By Chris Papst

    WHP-Harrisburg

    2013

  • Deadly Delays

    Nearly every baby born in the United States has blood collected within a day or two of birth to be screened for dozens of genetic disorders. Each year, newborn screening is credited with saving or improving the lives of more than 12,000 babies in the United States. The entire premise of newborn screening is to detect disorders quickly so babies can be treated early, averting death and preventing or limiting brain damage, disability and a lifetime of costly medical care. The investigation found that thousands of hospitals — and dozens of state agencies that oversee the programs — are failing America’s children due to an ineffective and unaccountable newborn screening system wracked by deadly delays. As a result, children who should be diagnosed and treated shortly after birth are suffering preventable brain damage, disability and even death — as if they had been born decades before today’s screening tests and treatments were available. In an analysis of nearly 3 million newborn screening tests from throughout the country, the Journal Sentinel found that hundreds of thousands of blood samples from newborn babies arrive late at labs where they are to be tested. Despite very clear and dramatic warnings to send blood samples to state labs within 24 hours, many hospitals don’t comply, and instead wait days and then send blood samples in batches, saving a few dollars in postage. Problem hospitals throughout the country face no consequences and often are not even notified they are putting babies’ lives at risk.

    Tags: newborn; delays; hospitals; blood samples; babies

    By Ellen Gabler; Mark Johnson; John Fauber; Allan James Vestal; Kristyna Wentz-Graff

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    2013

  • Deals for Developers, Cash for Campaigns

    Construction cranes can be seen throughout Washington, D.C. Less visible are the symbiotic relationships between land developers and city officials awarding tax breaks and discounted land deals. Those government subsidies are meant to revive neighborhoods, and to create jobs and affordable housing. But in some cases, the benefits never materialized, or the subsidies simply weren’t needed. And what began as a targeted economic development tool now looks to some like government hand outs that could have paid for other city services. A WAMU investigation found the D.C. City Council awarded $1.7 billion in real estate subsidies to 133 groups in the past decade — and more than a third of the subsidies went to ten developers that donated the most campaign cash over that time. 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: developers; campaigns; city council; subsidies;

    By Julie Patel; Patrick Madden

    WAMU

    2013

  • Backfire

    The investigation revealed that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) employed rogue tactics in undercover storefront strings in Milwaukee and across the country, including using those with mental disabilities to promote the operations – and then turning around and charging them with gun and drug crimes. The investigation found ATF agents set up operations near schools and churches, allowing them to arrest people on more serious charges; let felons armed with guns leave the fake storefronts; paid such high prices that people bought guns from stores and then quickly sold them to agents; bought stolen goods, spurring burglaries in the area; arrested and charged the wrong people; and drew in juveniles by allowing them to play video games, smoke marijuana and drink alcohol; failed to employ sufficient security, allowing sting storefronts to be burglarized; carelessly handled sensitive documents containing undercover officer’s names and vehicle information; and left behind damaged rental properties, failing to pay landlords for repairs. In Milwaukee, an ATF agent’s guns were stolen, including an automatic machine gun, which has not been recovered. The sting operations were part of an ATF initiative meant to go after “the worst of the worst” and target areas beset by violent crime. But in the Milwaukee operation and elsewhere, the defendants largely had nonviolent criminal backgrounds. Even a federal prosecutor criticized the ATF for the kinds of people targeted.

    Tags: ATF; guns

    By John Diedrich; Raquel Rutledge

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    2013

  • Colorado's Failing Parole System

    A father of three, gunned down for his pizza delivery uniform. That uniform is then used in the murder of Colorado’s Prisons Chief, shot and killed when he answered his front door. The man who carried out the killings: a career criminal on parole. A series of Call7 Breaking News Investigations uncovers the catastrophic failure of Colorado’s parole division. Failures that allowed a parolee identified as high risk and assigned a specially trained officer, to commit murder- twice. A parolee absconder who Call7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta uncovered committed both murders while “off the grid” as parole officers at all levels ignored critical alerts he was on the run for nearly a week. Marchetta holds officials accountable for the fatal oversights that took place. Her investigations led to immediate and long-term meaningful changes at the Colorado Department of Corrections, including a new policy requiring officers to respond to ankle bracelet tamper alerts, new equipment for parole officers, legislative hearings and a change in leadership at the parole division.

    Tags: parole; crime

    By Theresa Marchetta; Jennifer Castor; Carl Bilek

    KMGH-TV (Denver)

    2013