Behind the story: How the Asbury Park Press investigated bad cops and secret settlements

From 2010 to the beginning of 2018, New Jersey municipalities spent over $42 million to cover up deaths, physical injuries and sexual abuses, all at the hands of police officers. One of six states without a police licensing system, New Jersey keeps details of its internal affairs investigations secret and, until recently, did not mandate…

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Behind the Story: How a little-known law can send you to prison for a murder you never committed

Alison Flowers (left) and Sarah Macaraeg (right) You might think you have to kill someone to be charged with murder. But at least in Illinois, you’d be wrong. In an investigation for the Chicago Reader, independent journalists Alison Flowers and Sarah Macaraeg spent several months looking into a controversial law called the “felony murder rule,”…

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Behind the Story: How IndyStar uncovered sexual abuse within USA Gymnastics

“Out of Balance” from the Indianapolis Star In many ways, the summer of 2016 was an exciting time for USA Gymnastics, the national governing body that oversees the sport and its thousands of athletes. American gymnasts were Olympic darlings. They brought home more medals in their sport than any other country in the world. However,…

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Behind the prize: IRE Award winners take us behind the story in articles, podcasts

Want to know how those IRE Award-winning investigations came together? Throughout the year, journalists have taken us behind the story in podcasts and articles. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite pieces. Winners “Seafood from Slaves” by the Associated Press Listen to “The Story That Freed Hundreds of Slaves” on the IRE Radio…

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Behind the Story: How Reuters investigated the preventable deaths of drug-addicted babies

Duff Wilson Any good reporter knows that keeping your eyes and ears open to the world can spark an idea for an original investigation. That was the case for Duff Wilson, an investigative reporter for Reuters. Wilson came up with the idea for the project “Helpless and Hooked” after reading an article in a Massachusetts…

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Behind the Story: How a small daily paper investigated Florida’s lax sentencing laws – one case at a time

Katie Sartoris In December 2013, 21-year-old Michael Bargo became the youngest person on Florida’s death row for the brutal murder of a teenage boy. Of the 12-person jury that put him there, only 10 agreed that Bargo deserved to die, and none of them were required to explain why. In most other states, a unanimous…

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Scrutinizing what you scrape: How The New York Times investigated arbitration

A graphic from The New York Times’ arbitration series Court records have long been a vital tool for journalists looking to hold powerful corporations accountable. But what happens when disputes between companies and consumers move out of open court and into private meeting rooms? What happens when class action lawsuits – and the wealth of…

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Behind the Story: How KING 5 TV overcame language barriers to investigate birth tourism

A screenshot from KING 5 TV’s broadcast showing the website for Seattle Fu Hua Enterprises LLC There were elusive aspects to this story that dogged Chris Ingalls from the beginning — the inscrutable website, the murky legal environment, the incognito maternity mansion. But none was more important, or more delicate, than scoring the face-to-face interviews…

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Behind the Story: How a reporter peered inside one of the world’s most powerful chemical companies

Mariah Blake A single email from a governor, agency head or low-level bureaucrat can crack open a story, thanks to freedom of information laws. But if a reporter knows where to look, she can also find a trove of internal documents from some of the world’s biggest corporations, including emails, memos, meeting minutes and even…

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IRE Award winners take us behind the story in blog posts, podcasts

Over the last year we’ve talked to many of the journalists now honored with 2014 IRE Awards. They’ve taken us behind their award-winning stories, shared tips and provided valuable insight into the reporting process. We combed our archives to put together a list of all the behind-the-scenes interviews we’ve gathered over the last 12 months.…

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