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 "Wisconsin" ...

  • The Wisconsin Voter

    The broad focus of “The Wisconsin Voter” is the political culture of a battleground state, as reflected in public opinion, election outcomes and trends, and the behavior of the state’s political leadership.
  • The Walker Calendar Files

    Wisconsin's politics exploded on Feb. 11, 2011, when Gov. Scott Walker unveiled his plan to strip most collective bargaining rights from public employee unions. tens of thousands of protesters descended on the state Capitol, and Walker became a national conservative star. But as Walker's calendars revealed, he was known to the conservative establishment beforehand: Two weeks before Walker dropped what he referred to as his "bomb," he had dined at the Washington, D.C., area home of Republican power broker Fred Malek. The political turmoil sparked questions about how and with whom Walker had spent his time in office, questions that took on increased urgency as he faced a historic recall election in June 2012. The Center digitized and coded all 4,414 entries of those calendars to examine those questions. At the heart of the project was a series of four major data visualizations offering the public deep dives into the calendar data and analyses. The innovative, CAR-based approach to these calendars allowed reporters to break new ground about a man who had become one of the most thoroughly covered governors ever.
  • Reporting on Gun Laws and Mass Shootings

    This entry includes several highlights of our guns coverage, as well as a comprehensive index of our guns reporting. We began this project in July, immediately following the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. That tragedy came within months of mass shootings at a Seattle cafe, an Oakland university, and in a Tucson, Arizona Safeway parking lot. Senseless, gun-fueled tragedies, it seemed, were happening with increasing frequency and ferocity. But was that just a feeling…or was it fact? We set out to tackle this question. Within 24 hours of the Aurora shooting, we researched and published the first iteration of our “Guide to Mass Shootings in America” an interactive report that mapped, charted, and analyzed 26 mass shooting cases. After several more days of extensive work and crowdsourcing, we completed the guide, with data from all 59 mass shootings of the last 30 years. (We’ve continued updating the piece with recent mass shootings, bringing the total up to 62 cases as of this writing.) Following shootings at a Wisconsin Sikh temple and the Empire State Building later in the summer, we published two more deep-dive pieces: an interactive map detailing a four-year wave of NRA-backed gun laws, and a chart-heavy piece exploring the correlation between America’s record high firearm-ownership and record high mass shooting deaths. And finally, within a week of the Newtown shooting, we gathered photographs and memories of all 151 mass shooting victims in 2012, pulling several late nights to compile them into a poignant interactive.
  • Hidden Hunting Land

    Woodland owners in Wisconsin get huge tax breaks for enrolling property in a state-run managed forest program. In exchange, property owners agree to allow hunters, hikers and others to enjoy the land. The trouble is, while taxpayers pick up the roughly $29 million tab, few get to enjoy the benefits. Property owners – who collectively have enrolled more than 1 million acres in the program – have found ways to keep the public out, including creating phantom companies to fence off the property and otherwise discourage visitors. Some parcels allowed into the program would only be accessible to the public by helicopter, for example. In addition, the property is difficult to locate, and the state agency overseeing the program makes it more so by not providing maps, access points or even the phone numbers of the property owners. The Journal Sentinel obtained a database of all the land in the program, calculated the cost to taxpayers and created an interactive map, making the land significantly more accessible to the public. The map was so comprehensive that, once the project ran, the newsroom was able to make it the center of a marketing campaign to hunters and hikers – a significant innovation in repackaging existing content in a user-friendly (and money-making) way.
  • Rural slide

    In this three-day series, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (WCIJ) explored rural population losses in three Wisconsin counties — and potential statewide solutions.
  • Wisconsin veterans face job challenges, stigma

    To talk to those who recruit veterans at job fairs or politicians who tout veterans’ service, one would think that military experience would be an asset in the American job market. Presumably, employers would go to great lengths to accommodate injuries veterans may have. But statistics support an ominous feeling many Wisconsin veterans have in their collective gut: that the stigma of disability – and even of military service – puts them at a major disadvantage.
  • Frac sand mining booms in Wisconsin

    An ongoing series looking at the recent growth in Wisconsin’s sand mining industry to meet the increased demand from oil and gas drillers. The frac sand industry has created jobs and economic development in Western Wisconsin, but many residents worry that the industry is not properly regulated. Concerns remain about the impact of the mining on human and environmental health, transportation, and land use.
  • Crime data investigation

    The traffic stop investigation was the first of its kind in Wisconsin, as traffic stop data had not been collected before 2011.
  • Putting their faith in his hands

    The story provides a deep look at the rise of charismatic religious leader Avraham Cohen, how he came to dominate the lives of his devoted followers and became a large if shadowy presence in a small town in northern Wisconsin, and how his plans to create a business empire went awry.
  • Minor Offenders, Major Consequences

    The reporter examines the Wisconsin criminal justice system for young adults using the story of a young man who hanged himself in jail at age 17.