Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

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  • STARZ's Fail State

    Executive produced by news legend Dan Rather, FAIL STATE investigates the dark side of American higher education, chronicling the decades of policy decisions in Washington, D.C. that have given rise to a powerful and highly-predatory for-profit college industry. With echoes of the subprime mortgage crisis, the film lays bare how for-profit colleges exploit millions of low-income and minority students, leaving them with worthless degrees and drowning in student loan debt. Combining five years of research and interviews from over 60 experts, policymakers, whistleblowers, and students defrauded by their colleges, director Alexander Shebanow presents a searing exposé on the for-profit college industry and the lawmakers enabling widespread fraud and abuse in American higher education. FAIL STATE debuted on STARZ on December 17th, 2018.
  • What Does Gun Violence Really Cost?

    For our May/June 2015 cover story, we sought to answer a simple question: Why doesn’t anyone know what gun violence costs? Led by national affairs editor Mark Follman, MoJo reporters worked with an economist to crunch complicated datasets to find the answer: $229 billion—about the same as the obesity epidemic. They laid out the data in compelling charts and videos, reported on the forces that suppress research, and profiled survivors bankrupted and forced to navigate their lives in wheelchairs. The package was the first to exhaustively outline the economic, social, and human costs of gun violence and it made waves on Capitol Hill. Sen. Chris Murphy said “This new report from Mother Jones will make silence just a little harder from now on.” Just weeks later President Obama addressed the issue for the first time in a speech to the nation’s mayors, saying gun violence “costs you money…It costs this country dearly.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcxeVBPH-1w https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvW5gD8YYUA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nook1b8EyTs
  • Healthcare crisis, Corp. Fraud

    SIRF's work in exposing how Valeant, a high-flying pharmaceutical company, concealed its ownership of a specialty pharmacy that helped it to massive profits led to a multi-month drama that saw its share price cut by 75%, subpoena's and the closure of the unit.
  • Detroit's Foreclosure Meltdown

    This series investigated the impact of a decade of mortgage foreclosures on Detroit neighborhoods by tracking the fate of nearly 65,000 bank foreclosed homes. We found that subprime lending and bargain-basement sales of these homes contributed to a $500 million loss for the city in unpaid property taxes and demolition costs. http://www.detroitnews.com/topic/046a3a7c-ed6d-4afb-876a-d7800dd4a513/detroits-foreclosure-meltdown/
  • Border Patrol Sex Assaults

    CBS News investigation revealed “disturbing” sex abuse within the country’s largest law enforcement agency US Customs and Border Protection. A former top official of the agency told us for the first time that he notified his superiors of a “spike” in sexual misconduct by agents that was significantly higher than any other federal law enforcement agency as well as other large metropolitan police departments. As a result of our story – the DHS integrity council met with our whistleblower and then issued a series of recommended changes to CBP.
  • Allentown FBI investigation

    On July 2, FBI agents raided Allentown City Hall, looking for documents connected with a host of businesses and other entities that received city contracts. It was clear that agents suspected a pay-to-play scheme had been in the works for several years. The first thing The Morning Call’s city hall reporter, Emily Opilo, did was cancel her plans for the Fourth of July holiday, since she knew this story needed her complete attention. For the next six months, Opilo – along with reporters Scott Kraus, Matt Assad and Paul Muschick – scrutinized each entity on the FBI’s subpoena list. Going contractor by contractor, they used the state’s Right-to-Know Law to gather bid sheets, requests for proposals, meeting notes and contracts. Using state and federal campaign finance reports, they matched each contractor against contributions made to Allentown’s mayor when he ran for re-election in 2013, for governor in 2014 and for U.S. Senate in 2015. In each case, contractors also were donors. Often, those that didn’t get contracts were found not to have donated to the mayor’s campaigns.
  • A Collaborative Investigative Reporting Initiative

    The Georgia News Lab is an award-wining investigative reporting collaborative. Its mission is to train a new generation of investigative journalists and help increase diversity in newsrooms. The project is a partnership between four of the top college journalism programs in Georgia (the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University) and two of the dominant news outlets in the Southeast (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV, an ABC affiliate). Through this unique collaboration, students learn advanced reporting techniques, work side by side with professional reporters, produce major investigative stories, and prepare for careers in investigative journalism. http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/student-project-leads-ethics-investigation-subpoen/nm8r6/
  • In These Times: Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market

    We investigated the numerous ways the chemical industry influences regulation of chemicals by the EPA and the FDA. Specifically, we discovered that industry-funded researchers have used a particular type of scientific study called “physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling” to support industry claims that economically important chemicals are safe. We found that the scientists who pioneered PBPK modeling while working for the Air Force in the early 1980s had recognized early on that PBPK studies could be used to industry’s advantage. As we examined the record over the past four decades, it became clear that these studies are primarily conducted by regulatory toxicologists working as private consultants or for research institutions funded by chemical companies. Further, these same individuals and consultancies often receive federal grants and contracts, suggesting widespread conflicts of interest. Our investigation documents the outcome – often delay or outright termination – of regulatory processes for numerous hazardous chemicals, including methylene chloride, formaldehyde, bisphenol A, perchlorate, styrene, and chlorpyrifos. While other journalists have documented the chemical industry’s political influence, to our knowledge no other journalists have brought to light the ways science itself is being manipulated.
  • Blood Lessons

    The Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle spent months examining whether the nation’s oil refineries had learned the lessons of the deadly explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery in 2005, one of the most horrific and studied industrial accidents in U.S. history. What our reporters found was astonishing: that preventable deaths in the industry have barely slowed in the decade since the blast in which 15 workers lost their lives.
  • Detroit's foreclosure meltdown

    This series investigated the impact of a decade of mortgage foreclosures on Detroit neighborhoods by tracking the fate of nearly 65,000 bank foreclosed homes. We found that subprime lending and bargain-basement sales of these homes contributed to a $500 million loss for the city in unpaid property taxes and demolition costs.