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 "Virginia" ...

  • "The Costs of the Confederacy" / "Monumental Lies"

    Reporters Brian Palmer and Seth Freed Wessler, along with a team of Type Investigations researchers, spent more than a year investigating public funding for sites—monuments, statues, parks, libraries, museums—and Confederate “heritage” organizations that promote an inaccurate “Lost Cause” version of American history. According to scholars, that ideology distorts the nation’s collective past by venerating Confederate leaders and the common Confederate soldier; framing of the Civil War as a struggle for Southern states’ rights against “northern aggression”; denying Southern culpability and slavery itself for any role in precipitating the war; and presenting chattel slavery as a humane, Christianizing institution. This is more than mere Confederate myth-making, it is a century-and-half old strategy that was historically deployed to terrorize and disenfranchise African American citizens and to reinstall white supremacy across the South in the wake of Reconstruction. The historic sites that perpetuate these myths have been central to racial violence in recent years, from the Dylann Roof shooting at the AME Zion Church — he had visited Confederate sites before his attack — to the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, centered around the defense of a Confederate monument.
  • The Virginian-Pilot: Jailed in Crisis

    In a first-of-it’s-kind investigation, the Virginian-Pilot tracked down more than 400 cases across the country in which people with mental illness died in jails, documenting the scope of a tragedy that’s been unfolding for decades: too many people are being jailed instead of treated and many are dying in horrific ways and under preventable circumstances. The series goes on to detail how so many people ended up in jails because of a lack of mental health services and how some municipalities are finding ways to get them into treatment. The investigation prompted long-delayed action by the U.S. Justice Department to address the conditions for people with mental illness in the Hampton Roads Regional Jail in Portsmouth, Virginia.
  • ProPublica: Civil Wrongs

    Nowhere has the Trump administration's pullback on civil rights been more pronounced or damaging than in education. Under Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Education Department has deep-sixed thousands of civil rights complaints — especially those alleging systemic discrimination by school districts and colleges. In their series, "Civil Wrongs," reporters Annie Waldman of ProPublica and Erica L. Green of The New York Times exposed the department's indifference, and the toll on African-American, Latino, and Native American students from Virginia to Montana. Their work has already had significant impact, and is likely to be even more influential in 2019 as Democrats who now control the U.S. House of Representatives tackle DeVos’ civil rights record. Alongside their reporting, the team, which included news app developers Lena Groeger and David Eads, created two interactive databases: one allowing readers to look up civil rights investigations into their school districts and colleges and another illustrating racial disparities in educational opportunities and discipline.
  • The New Power Brokers: West Virginia’s Natural Gas Industry

    As the natural gas industry in West Virginia has boomed, it has taken the state down the same path as the coal industry, fueled by weakened protections for the environment and local residents, lax ethical rules, out-of-state gas producers who cheat local gas owners out of their profits, and a century-old property law doctrine that lets gas drillers do whatever they want to get the gas, whether they own the land or not.
  • FRONTLINE / ProPublica: I Don't Want to Shoot You Brother

    A young black man was dead. A young white cop was quickly fired. If that sounds surprising, you don’t know the half of it. This is a shocking story about police and the use of lethal force. Just not the one you might expect. In this episode, The FRONTLINE Dispatch teams up with ProPublica to investigate a fatal police shooting in Weirton, West Virginia and the ramifications of its shocking aftermath. Listen, and then read our in-depth story on what happened.
  • The Innocents: How U.S. Immigration Policy Punishes Migrant Children

    Federal immigration policies that separated children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border had real, traumatic consequences on the most vulnerable members of our society. This series of exclusive investigations identified “tender age shelters” warehousing babies and toddlers, exposed a Virginia shelter where migrant teenagers described horrific abuse and followed a Salvadoran mother who came close to losing her daughter to adoption, revealing the legal possibility that separated children could be permanently taken from their parents. AP also followed the money, highlighting the billion-dollar business in migrant child detention, a sector that has grown tenfold in the last decade. Just before year’s end, AP broke the news that the government was keeping most of the 14,000 migrant kids in its care in shelters with hundreds of others, despite expert warnings that mass institutionalization can cause life-long trauma. Based on deep source reporting and exclusive data, the story was the first to provide the number of children in every government-contracted detention center, shelter and foster care program dating back to 2017 - data the government had been withholding all year.
  • Sick and Imprisoned

    This entry chronicles an investigation into the healthcare of inmates at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail, including the treatment of the mentally ill. It starts with the death of Henry Stewart, who was vomiting blood and begging for help from officials in the days before he died. The investigation goes on to detail how the jail treated inmates such as Jamycheal Mitchell, who died a year before Stewart, as well as the larger problems with how Virginia cares for the incarcerated and mentally ill.
  • Aging aircraft and hidden threats

    While the Navy spent big over the past 20 years on experimental mine hunting technology that may never work, it stopped investing in its mine-hunting Sea Dragon helicopters, which have spent the better part of a year grounded due to mechanical problems after a series of deadly accidents. Now the service is trying to play catch-up. The Sea Dragon’s troubles are a symptom of a much larger problem: America’s military aircraft have been flown hard during 15 years of combat in the Middle East, and nearly all of their next-generation replacements are years behind schedule and millions over budget. The result: Much of the nation’s fleet is flying far longer than planned and in need of critical maintenance to keep them going. Their investigation found that the United State's Marine and Navy aircraft fleet has dismal readiness rates, as evidenced in an internal report obtained by the IRP and Virginian-Pilot. They examine what effect this has on our military's ability to counter the threat of sea mines.
  • Veterans Deserve Better

    While veterans in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia endured some of the longest wait times in the nation, a nearly yearlong review of federal disciplinary records revealed Mountain Home VA Medical Center employees abused, disrespected and refused to help some patients and some kept their jobs.
  • Troubling Pharmacies

    An investigation of nearly seven years of Virginia pharmacy board case decisions leads to the state making it easier for consumers to find out which health professionals are on probation but still working. It uncovers the area's largest health-provider, which had to outsource its hospital IV fluid mixing when it failed a pharmacy inspection, and got hospital officials to describe the details of the corrective action taken. It tells the story of a single pharmacist who never lost a day of work despite multiple probations from nearly 50 violations cited in board orders. It identifies the 17 area pharmacies that were cited for violations. And it reveals board reporting delays and transparency issues that keep consumers from making informed decisions on where to safely have their prescriptions filled.