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" ...

  • 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

  • Packing heat: How gun law loopholes tripled Canada’s rifle magazine limits

    Gun control has been in the news on both sides of the border - even as legislation goes in different directions. Canada just destroyed its long-gun registry, even as police officers who relied on its data called for its preservation. But here, we focused on the implications of failing to update gun laws for 20-odd years: Namely, such neglect creates unforeseen, potentially lethal loopholes that - for example - triple the legal magazine limit. But it's one thing to write about this. We went one better, obtaining dummy ammunition and a magazine cartridge to demonstrate in video online the ways in which outdated laws can be used against the public good.

    Tags: Gun control

    By Patrick Cain

    Global News (Vancouver, BC)

    2013

  • The Untouchables

    In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Americans demanded to know why no Wall Street banks or senior executives had faced criminal charges. Critics questioned whether, in the midst of a painful recovery, Wall Street was simply “too big to jail.” With the five-year statute of limitations approaching, FRONTLINE producer Martin Smith sought answers to these questions in the film The Untouchables: an investigation into whether the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) failed to act on evidence that Wall Street knowingly originated, packaged and sold toxic home loans that poisoned the global economy.

    Tags: Wall Street; Recession

    By Sophie Gayter

    Frontline

    2013

  • Betrayed by Silence

    Through the fall and winter of 2013, MPR News delivered a powerful collection of investigative radio stories that exposed how leaders of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis were continuing to cover-up the sexual abuse of children by priests. We found the archdiocese had hidden the names of abusive priests for decades, provided secret payments to pedophiles, and failed to report possible child pornography on a priest’s computer to police or warn parishioners of another priest’s sexual addiction. We exposed how two priests had secretly confessed to sexually abusing children decades ago –one was teaching sex education to troubled teenagers and the other was living half a block from a school. Our investigation peeled back the layers of false promises by leaders who had guided the national response to the clergy abuse scandal a decade earlier – and showed that children remained at risk.

    Tags: Archiocese; St. Paul; Minneapolis;

    By Madeleine Baran

    Minnesota Public Radio

    2013

  • Bad Chemistry: Annie Dookhan And The Massachusetts Drug Lab Crisis

    In August 2012, a drug testing laboratory in Boston was closed by the state of Massachusetts. Initial reports simply stated the shutdown was because a chemist working in the lab ‘failed to follow testing protocols.’ In the months that followed, state officials alleged that the chemist — Annie Dookhan — had not just mishandled criminal evidence but had falsified drug results by deliberately tainting and mixing evidence in tens of thousands of criminal cases. As of this writing, the state has provided what it says is a ‘master list’ of affected cases, and puts that number at roughly 43,000. However, recent court filings question the accuracy of that number. WBUR didn’t want to just follow the latest twists and turns of this story, we wanted to understand how one chemist could cause such a chain reaction that stretched to all corners of the criminal justice system. We wanted to pursue an iterative investigative journalism approach - to show our work mid-process, use data-driven analysis and be transparent about what we didn't know. To date, WBUR is the only news organization to have published an analysis of the testing data.

    Tags: Drug testing

    By Tiffany Campbell

    WBUR-FM (Boston)

    2014

  • The Suspicion Within

    Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

    Tags: NSA; Obama administration; federal employees; Insider Threat Program; U.S. national security; Peace Corps; Social Security Administration; Education and Agriculture departments; classified material

    By Marisa Taylor; Jonathan S. Landay

    McClatchy Newspapers

    2013