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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.


“Seafood from Slaves” by the Associated Press

Listen to “The Story That Freed Hundreds of Slaves” on the IRE Radio Podcast. Martha Mendoza, Margie Mason and Robin McDowell discuss how they chased the story.

“Failure Factories” by the Tampa Bay Times

Read a Q&A with Nathaniel Lash, a data journalist at the Tampa Bay Times and a member of the Failure Factories team.

“The Khadija Project” by The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project and many collaborators

Igor Spaic and Michael Mattson explained the project in the IRE Journal. We re-published their article online the day investigative reporter Khadija Ismayilova was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison in the country of Azerbaijan.

“Rape on the Night Shift” by FRONTLINE, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, The Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, KQED Public Radio and Univision

Bernice Yeung of Reveal wrote an article for the IRE Journal about how she develops sources.

“Racial Profiling Whitewash,” KXAN/NBC

Brian Collister of KXAN wrote a piece for the IRE Journal about the reporting and document analysis involved in the station’s investigation into racial profiling.

“The Red Cross’ Secret Disaster” by ProPublica and NPR

Listen to Justin Elliott of ProPublica talk about investigating the American Red Cross’ Superstorm Sandy relief efforts on the IRE Radio Podcast. You can also read about the reporting process on IRE’s Behind the Story blog.



“America's Broken Guest Worker Program” by BuzzFeed News

BuzzFeed News’ Ken Bensinger and Jessica Garrison discuss reporting on the H-2 visa program on an episode of the IRE Radio Podcast. Jeremy Singer-Vine also talked to us about the data analysis behind the project.

“Left for Dead” by The Center for Investigative Reporting/Reveal

On the IRE Radio Podcast, G.W. Schulz of The Center for Investigative Reporting explains how he spent nearly eight years reporting on America’s missing and unidentified dead. Michael Corey also talked with us about "The Lost & The Found," a tool designed to help match unsolved missing person cases and unidentified bodies.

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