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 "State Department" ...

  • Two-Hour Diploma

    “Two-Hour Diploma” started with a late-night hotline tip in February of 2018. Ten months later, at the time of this entry, the shock waves it produced continue to reverberate throughout the state of Maryland. Using deep dive, old-fashioned investigative journalism, this series produced results. A Baltimore high school was shut down after Fox45 enrolled an undercover student who received a diploma in two hours. Multiple state investigations were launched leading to other schools being shut down. Lawmakers, including the Governor, promised legislative action in Annapolis when session opens in January. And Fox45 jumped right through the massive loopholes this investigation exposed by opening our own church and school – right under the state’s nose. Two weeks after filing the paperwork, Good News Academy was certified and approved by the Maryland State Department of Education. As all this was unfolding, investigative reporter Chris Papst was sued by a school operator and physical threats were made against Papst and Fox45 for which the police were called. In an effort to stop the investigation, Fox45’s sources were threatened with violence and had their property vandalized. “Two-Hour Diploma” was produced by Project Baltimore, a team of Fox45 journalists committed to a long-term investigation of education in the Baltimore area.
  • Testing the Waters

    "Testing the Waters" is a two-part investigation into concerns of lead contamination in local drinking water on the Alabama Gulf Coast. After an extensive analysis of public records, FOX10 News Investigates found eight water systems across Mobile and Baldwin counties have had testing results above the legal limit for lead content in the last three years. Further, FOX10 News found local public schools were not previously testing for lead content, so we requested to test for them. As a result of our investigation, both Mobile and Baldwin County Public Schools started testing some of its older schools that could be at risk. Moreover, during the course of our investigation, the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE) has announced it will help test all public schools over the next three years.
  • Trouble Behind Bars

    A KyCIR investigation found preventable county jail deaths that provoked little to no follow-up, as well as failures at all levels of government. Not even the state Department of Corrections knows who is dying in county jails, and why. https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/rg-dunlop-on-the-cost-of-jail-abuse-and-misconduct https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/rg-dunlop-on-former-grant-co-jailer-terry-peeples/s-i3QFO https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/trouble-behind-bars-when-jail-deaths-go-unnoticed https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/remedies-rare-for-grant-countys-dangerous-jail https://soundcloud.com/wfplnews/cascade-of-failures-lead-to-25-year-olds-death-in-grant-county-jail
  • Schoolgirls for Sale

    Japan's obsession with cutesy culture has taken a dark turn, with schoolgirls now offering themselves for "walking dates" with adult men. Last year the US State Department, in its annual report on human trafficking, flagged so-called joshi-kosei osanpo dates (that's Japanese for "high school walking") as fronts for commercial sex run by sophisticated criminal networks. In an investigation, VICE News host Simon Ostrovsky brings the readers to Tokyo's busiest neighborhoods, where girls solicit clients in their school uniforms, to a concert performed by a band of schoolgirls attended by adult men, and into a café, where teenage girls are available to hire by the hour. But the true revelations come behind closed doors, when schoolgirls involved in the rent-a-date industry reveal how they've been coerced into prostitution. (https://news.vice.com/video/schoolgirls-for-sale-in-japan)
  • Youth prison chaos revealed

    A breaking news investigation that revealed a state-federal probe into allegations of abuse and mismanagement at a youth prison facility in northern Wisconsin and quickly identified many of the problems, including poor oversight by the state Department of Corrections.
  • Bank got caught in 'death spiral'

    This story looks at decisions that led to the Bank of Clark County's failure, and determines that the mistakes were twofold, and in the end each made the other worse. By ignoring its own guidelines, the bank issued loans to borrowers who later could not pay them back. By using risky deposits to fund these loans, it created a trap it could not escape.
  • Nation Institute (TomDispatch and The Intercept) coverage of the U.S. Military in Africa

    I wrote an untitled collection of articles for The Nation Institute’s TomDispatch.com and First Look Media’s The Intercept investigating the U.S. military’s extensive and largely secret operations on the African continent. Utilizing documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and from a whistle blower as well as a plethora of open source material, I offered a rare glimpse of the actions of a very secretive military command. Along the way, I revealed covert U.S. drone bases used for targeted killing campaigns from Yemen and Somalia to Iraq and Syria; I exposed unreported drug use and criminal behavior by U.S. forces across Africa; and shined a light on a multitude of missions in which elite U.S. forces trained alongside members of African armies regularly cited by the State Department for human rights abuses; among many other revelations. (While The Intercept may not fit the definition of a small outlet, I generally work alone and receive only spare support beyond editing. And TomDispatch is a truly tiny outlet.) https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/target-africa/ https://theintercept.com/2015/10/21/stealth-expansion-of-secret-us-drone-base-in-africa/ https://theintercept.com/2016/02/10/where-to-invade-next-is-the-most-subversive-movie-michael-moore-has-ever-made/
  • Out of the Shadows

    At least 110 Massachusetts children died of abuse- and neglect-related causes between 2009 and 2013. One in three of them had been under the watch of the state Department of Children and Families – whose mission includes preventing such tragedies. The New England Center for Investigative Reporting spent 10 months examining details of these children’s short lives and deaths, revealing systemic problems and prompting quick action by state officials. http://necir.org/out-of-the-shadows/ http://features.necir.org/justice-denied-life-death
  • Journey to Jihad

    This is a nine-thousand-word investigation into the European jihadi pipeline. Using thousands of pages of leaked Belgian Federal Police records, which included wiretaps, electronic surveillance, seized radicalization pamphlets, and interrogation transcripts, it traces the web of connections between jihadi recruiters in Europe, and follows a reluctant ISIS member to Syria and back. It also reveals previously-unknown details on Amr al-Absi, the Syrian emir identified by the U.S. State Department as having been "in charge of kidnappings" for ISIS, as well war crimes committed against local civilians by his European recruits. I also took a portrait of the main subject, and a separate portrait of his father. Both pictures were published in the magazine. The article was my M.A. thesis project at Columbia Journalism School.
  • Investigation of charter school operator

    For years, Dr. Michael Sharpe was among the most prominent charter school leaders in Connecticut, collecting millions of dollars from lawmakers eager to embrace school reform, and harboring big plans to expand his already growing empire beyond the state’s borders. Today, that empire has collapsed, following deep and aggressive reporting by a team of Hartford Courant reporters who revealed that Sharpe had a felony conviction for financial fraud, had no doctoral degree despite calling himself “Dr.,” had misused state grant money and had turned his Jumoke Academy charter school into a den of nepotism and financial conflicts of interest. As the stories unfolded, Sharpe and his entire leadership team were forced out, and investigations were launched by the state Department of Education and the FBI, which is currently presenting evidence to a federal grand jury.