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.

Search results for "Massachusetts" ...

  • Silicon Valley’s Hidden Figures

    Silicon Valley has a big diversity problem. But no one has been able to comprehensively quantify it until now. Some of the multibillion-dollar companies that fuel the global economy have sought to hide how few women and people of color they have in their organizations, refusing to release the data, claiming the information is a trade secret. We built the largest and most comprehensive database of diversity employment data for Silicon Valley available. Through a groundbreaking collaboration with a University of Massachusetts Amherst sociologist, we got Equal Employment Opportunity Council (EEOC) data for 177 of the largest tech companies through public records requests and a successful FOIA lawsuit. Through this data, we uncovered disparities and ranked companies based on their diversity scores. By establishing a baseline of comparative data, we were able to hold companies accountable for their diversity hiring practices for the first time. Because of our analysis, the public now knows some of the worst companies when it comes to diversity in Silicon Valley. But we also found that diversity is not an impossible goal to achieve for technology companies: some are doing much better than their peers.
  • State Police Troopers, Supervisors Charged in Overtime Scandal

    Dozens of respected members of the Massachusetts State Police are suspended, so far ten have been criminally charged, and the investigations by federal and state prosecutors are continuing with more arrests expected in 2019. All of this is the result of a massive overtime scheme that was uncovered by 5 Investigates, the investigative team at WCVB in Boston. This is a precedent setting scandal that has unfolded in Massachusetts since our initial investigation. The work of 5 Investigates began in 2017 with dozens of public records requests and our first story in October that revealed supervisors and troopers who appeared to be earning thousands of dollars in overtime they never worked. By early 2018, we began to see significant developments -- suspensions, arrests for theft of taxpayer money, and a response from the Governor that resulted in some of the largest reforms within the State Police that Massachusetts has ever seen.
  • Gaming the Lottery: An International Investigation of the Nearly $300 Billion Industry

    This project extended our investigation into the global lottery industry. In 2018 we revealed Massachusetts’ failure to implement the policy it had announced to monitor frequent lottery winners and the state’s wildly inequitable system of distributing lottery proceeds, the cynical targeting of poor people in Bolivia and systemic corruption in the South African lottery. We filed more than a dozen FOIA requests, analyzed hundreds of thousands of records, read hundreds of documents, scraped 17 years of lottery grant recipients’ data. We conducted dozens of interviews, generated widespread media pickup and interest from colleagues in multiple countries, Our findings and reporting led to arrests and official investigations in the United States and South Africa.
  • Boston Globe: Secret Courts

    "Secret Courts" exposed the darkest corner of the Massachusetts criminal justice system. Criminal cases, including felony charges of vehicle homicide and rape, are held in closed-door hearings -- often in private offices without public notice -- and the outcome is up to the discretion of a single court official who may not have a law degree. No other state has anything like it.
  • Boston Globe: Massachusetts State Police Turmoil

    In a series of stories throughout 2018, the Globe uncovered instances of corruption within the state’s largest law enforcement agency, revealing numerous institutional failures and costly missteps. The reporters uncovered several cases of misconduct, such as a trooper’s history of racist online posts, a trooper's failures to halt a drunk driver and stop a fatal crash, and supervisors who never questioned a trooper’s drug dealing past. In the wake of these stories, the department opened internal inquiries.
  • Boston Globe: Losing Laura

    The needless death of a journalist’s wife from an asthma attack outside a locked hospital door revealed stunning weakness in Massachusetts’ emergency response system, sending the widowed journalist on a painful quest to document everything that went wrong and why Laura’s caregivers didn’t tell him the truth — a quest that changed the way the state’s 911 operators are trained to take emergency calls.
  • Boston Globe: Lawrence Gas Explosions

    After the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts was rocked on Sept. 13, 2018, by natural gas explosions that killed one young man, displaced thousands of residents, and cut off heat and power to homes and businesses for three months, the Boston Globe responded with dozens of daily stories as well as a steady stream of investigative pieces, attempting to tell readers exactly what had happened and why -- and whether the officials working to set things right were up to the task. Here are five early examples of investigative work connected to the disaster.
  • 48 Hours: All-American Murder

    In “All-American Murder,” a one-hour 48 HOURS special reported by best-selling author James Patterson, we unravel the complicated life of Aaron Hernandez, a young NFL star who seemingly had it all yet wound up accused of multiple murders and ultimately killed himself in a Massachusetts prison cell. The report features interviews with people who knew Aaron Hernandez at all stages of his life and addresses the question of whether football, the one thing Hernandez loved more than anything, was responsible for his demise.
  • Inside the Secret Courts

    "Secret Courts" exposed the darkest corner of the Massachusetts criminal justice system. Criminal cases, including felony charges of vehicle homicide and rape, are held in closed-door hearings -- often in private offices without public notice -- and the outcome is up to the discretion of a single court official who may not have a law degree. No other state has anything like it.
  • The Desperate and the Dead

    The Globe Spotlight Team documented tragic failings of the Massachusetts mental health care system, revealing for the first time that more than 10 percent of all homicides in the state are committed by people with a serious, treatable mental illness, and that nearly 50 percent of those fatally shot by police are suicidal, mentally ill, or showing clear signs of a mental health crisis. https://apps.bostonglobe.com/spotlight/the-desperate-and-the-dead/