Resource Center

Stories

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 rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.



Search results for "fail" ...

  • 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: 9/11; Iraq; Afghanistan

    By Jacquee Petchel

    News 21 (Phoenix, Ariz.)

    2013

  • The Smartest Kids in the World

    America has long compared its students to top-performing kids of other nations. But how do the world’s education superpowers look through the eyes of an American high school student? Author Amanda Ripley follows three teenagers who chose to spend one school year living and learning in Finland, South Korea, and Poland. Through their adventures, Ripley discovers startling truths about how attitudes, parenting, and rigorous teaching have revolutionized these countries’ education results. In The Smartest Kids in the World, Ripley’s astonishing new insights reveal that top-performing countries have achieved greatness only in the past several decades; that the kids who live there are learning to think for themselves, partly through failing early and often; and that persistence, hard work, and resilience matter more to our children’s life chances than self-esteem or sports. Ripley’s investigative work seamlessly weaves narrative and research, providing in-depth analysis and gripping details that will keep you turning the pages. Written in a clear and engaging style, The Smartest Kids in the World will enliven public as well as dinner table debates over what makes for brighter and better students.

    Tags: None

    By Amanda Ripley

    Book

    2013

  • How NJ Transit Failed Sandy's Test

    On the weekend before Sandy thundered into New Jersey, transit officials studied a map showing bright green and orange blocks. On the map, the area where most New Jersey Transit trains were being stored showed up as orange – or dry. So keeping the trains in its centrally-located Meadows Maintenance Complex and the nearby Hoboken yards seemed prudent. And it might have been a good plan. Except the numbers New Jersey Transit used to create the map were wrong. If officials had entered the right numbers, they would have predicted what actually happened: a storm surge that engulfed hundreds of rail cars, some of them brand new, costing over $120 million in damage and thrusting the system’s passengers into months of frustrating delays. But the fate of NJ Transit’s trains – over a quarter of the agency’s fleet - didn’t just hang on one set of wrong inputs. It followed years of missed warnings, failures to plan, and lack of coordination under Governor Chris Christie, who has expressed ambivalence about preparing for climate change while repeatedly warning New Jerseyans not to underestimate the dangers of severe storms.

    Tags: Hurricane Sandy; New Jersey;

    By Kate Hinds

    New York Public Radio and The Record

    2013

  • Failing Heads

    An investigative series by online and local television affiliates into mounting complaints and evidence that a highway safety device produced by a Dallas-based company and sold in all 50 states and 60 countries was failing with catastrophic results, causing severe injuries, amputations and deaths on the highway that were otherwise avoidable. The investigation uncovered that not only did Trinity Industries, know from state officials, industry whistleblowers, and engineers that the device was prone to failing, they conspired with regulatory officials at the Federal Highway Administration to cover it up.

    Tags: Highway deaths; Trinity Industries

    By Daniel Goldstein

    Dan GoldsteinReporting.com and ConsortiumNews.com

    None

  • 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

  • DCS Under Fire

    DCS Under Fire is a collection of stories representing WREG’s coverage of problems at the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Our team began an in-depth investigation into the child welfare agency more than a year ago. The very agency charged with protecting the state’s most vulnerable had kids dying on its watch. We exposed unexplained deaths, questionable actions by case workers as well as failed technology and policies. Our continuous coverage raised concerns from parents, advocates and lawmakers. Since the start of our investigation, and later a court battle for access to public records, DCS has overhauled its staff and changed a number of policies and procedures to better protect children in its care.

    Tags: Department of Children Services; Welfare; Death; Abuse

    By Zaneta Lowe

    WREG-TV (Memphis, Tenn.)

    2013

  • Iowa Juvenile Home

    The stories initially examined the illegal use of physical restraints and long-term isolation cells at the Iowa Juvenile Home, an unlicensed and largely unregulated state-run facility that provides housing, schooling and treatment for children with serious behavioral problems. The Register discovered that state workers were routinely confining children as young as 13 to unfurnished, 10-foot-by-12-foot concrete-block isolation cells in the basement of the home’s schoolhouse. One girl spent almost a full year in one such cell. Court records showed the home had been using long-term isolation, sometimes in direct violation of a judge’s order, for at least 17 years. Former residents of the home, and their legal advocates, agreed to speak to the Register on the record, and on video, about the isolation cells and the manner in which they were used. Over the next five months,the Register published a string of exclusives that uncovered other abuses and failings within the home, leading to the governor's decision in December to close the 50-year-old facility.

    Tags: Iowa Juvenile Home; Children

    By Clark Kauffman

    Des Moines Register

    2013

  • The Forgotten Dead

    Columbia College Chicago students spent a year investigating unsolved homicides in Chicago, determining that police repeatedly failed to follow department policy that required detectives to have occasional contact with murder victims' families. Despite numerous roadblocks - including being denied even basic information about dozens of homicide cases and police officials refusing to be interviewed - students were able to give voice to the families and friends of homicide victims.

    Tags: Homicide; police; murder

    By Suzanne McBride

    ChicagoTalks, AustinTalks, WBEZ (Chicago Public Radio) and the Chicago Sun-Times

    2013

  • Maryland's Failed Health Exchange

    Baltimore Sun reporters Andrea K. Walker and Meredith Cohn investigated what contributed to Maryland's troubled roll-out of its state-run health insurance marketplace. Emails between state officials and contractors as well as court documents revealed infighting and ineffectual oversight hampered efforts to launch and repair the state health care exchange.

    Tags: Health insurance

    By Dave Rosenthal

    Baltimore Sun

    2013

  • Merchants of Meth

    I exposed a concerted and well-funded campaign by the country’s leading pharmaceutical companies to defeat bills in Congress and state legislatures that were aimed at stopping the spread of toxic methamphetamine labs. At issue? Pseudoephedrine sales. The popular decongestant is the one key ingredient needed to make homemade meth. It also generates revenue for major pharmaceutical firms such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck of more than $600 million a year. Fuelled by easy access to pseudoephedrine, the number of meth labs in the United States has increased by more than 60 percent since 2007. Thanks in large part to pharmaceutical industry lobbying, there has been no federal legislation to address the spread of meth labs since 2005. In 2006, Oregon successfully moved to restrict meth cooks’ access to pseudoephedrine by making it a prescription drug, despite heavy lobbying against the bill from the pharmaceutical industry. Since then, the number of meth labs in the state has fallen drastically—by more than 90 percent. Faced with the mounting social, law enforcement, and environmental costs associated with meth, legislators in at least 25 other states sought to pass similar laws. But pharmaceutical lobbyists fought back, and in all but one state—Mississippi—the bills were defeated. My reporting examined how the industry has set state lobbying spending records as it has deployed a new kind of lobbying strategy to block regulation of pseudoephedrine. Instead of focusing their efforts on courting politicians, they have taken their message directly to voters, deploying thousands of robocalls in key electoral districts and large ad buys in major media markets for advertising across multiple platforms from radio to the Internet. Their messaging, I found, was deceptive, failing to even mention that the proposed bills had to do with combatting the meth epidemic. I also examined the results of an electronic pseudoephedrine sales tracking database known as NPLEx, which is meant to prevent excessive purchasing. While it’s the only reform to ever earn backing from the pharmaceutical industry, I found a system full of holes that has been ineffective at preventing the spread of meth labs in virtually every state that has adopted it.

    Tags: Pharmaceutics; Methamphetamine;

    By Jonah Engle

    Mother Jones

    2013