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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  • CNN Investigates - Uber Sexual Assault

    CNN Investigates’ multi-part, five month-long reporting project focused on allegations of sexual assaults by drivers of the rideshare giant Uber. Uber pitches itself in advertising as a “safe ride home,” but CNN’s reporting found that in case after case across the country, Uber drivers prey on female passengers, and Uber’s background check process allowed thousands of convicted criminals to become drivers. CNN’s investigation led to safety changes in the Uber app, a change in the background check policy, and a change in Uber’s policy that forced sexual assault victims into arbitration and compelled them to sign non-disclosure agreements.
  • Toxic Safety

    A child’s car seat is the only consumer product that is required by law in all 50 states and it is crucial to keep a child safe in the car. However, this investigation revealed false advertising, legal loopholes and outdated federal regulations are exposing millions of children to concerning, even known-cancer-causing chemicals, in their car seats with no apparent safety benefit. Over the course of a year, KPIX lit car seats on fire, commissioned lab tests on car seats and the kids who use them, searched public records, mined social media, analyzed national car fire data and interviewed experts from every applicable industry. The resulting series sparked action by lawmakers, industry groups, consumer advocates, federal regulators and car seat
  • The 100-Yard Deception

    Insider records reveal trail of deceit and potential fraud as largest U.S. maker of artificial sports fields, FieldTurf, and its executives for years made ballooning profits off taxpayers in cities, towns and school districts across the country, selling a product they knew was falling apart and would fall short of marketing and advertising claims. http://fieldturf.nj.com/
  • The 100-Yard Deception

    Insider records reveal trail of deceit and potential fraud as largest U.S. maker of artificial sports fields, FieldTurf, and its executives for years made ballooning profits off taxpayers in cities, towns and school districts across the country, selling a product they knew was falling apart and would fall short of marketing and advertising claims. https://readymag.com/njdotcom/fieldturfpreview/ https://readymag.com/njdotcom/fieldturf/ https://readymag.com/njdotcom/fieldturf-new-jersey/ https://readymag.com/njdotcom/fieldturf-dipiazza/
  • Medical Misbehavior

    In Human Testing, we exclusively expose the heartbreaking story of human experimentation done by the federal government and major teaching and research hospitals. In Bitter Pills, we trace the horrifying journey of a young man who grew large breasts as an alleged side effect of Risperdal, a drug that doctors widely misprescribed for unapproved uses in children. Medical misbehavior is an under-reported topic that we have a keen interest in, since it’s difficult for many news organizations to tackle the issue today (due to advertising by medical interests). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bFGi1MJnt8
  • Election 2014: Big Money, Secret Money

    In “Election 2014: Big Money, Secret Money,” the Center for Public Integrity tracked the impact and role of political advertising ahead of the Nov. 4 elections to help voters interpret special-interest influence on state-level and U.S. Senate elections in real time. Our unique project analyzed TV advertising for state-level races, statewide ballot measures and the battle over the U.S. Senate before voters went to the polls, then analyzed the results of those races as the election returns came in on Nov. 4. The stories we produced shined a light on what were essentially shadow campaigns occurring in races up and down the ballot, where outside groups and special interests spent millions of dollars independently of candidates and political parties to influence the outcomes.
  • Borrowing Trouble

    For years, Chicago taxpayers have been paying an exorbitant price for the faulty financial decisions of school officials – only they didn’t know it. Not surprisingly, leaders of the city’s public schools weren’t advertising the high costs of the losing bets they had placed in a risky debt market. Over the life of the deals, Chicago Public Schools will likely end up paying $100 million more than it would have if officials had stuck with traditional fixed-rate bonds. The story implicated state lawmakers, the school district's financial advisors, and the current school board president in the disastrous deals.
  • Merchants of Meth

    I exposed a concerted and well-funded campaign by the country’s leading pharmaceutical companies to defeat bills in Congress and state legislatures that were aimed at stopping the spread of toxic methamphetamine labs. At issue? Pseudoephedrine sales. The popular decongestant is the one key ingredient needed to make homemade meth. It also generates revenue for major pharmaceutical firms such as Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Merck of more than $600 million a year. Fuelled by easy access to pseudoephedrine, the number of meth labs in the United States has increased by more than 60 percent since 2007. Thanks in large part to pharmaceutical industry lobbying, there has been no federal legislation to address the spread of meth labs since 2005. In 2006, Oregon successfully moved to restrict meth cooks’ access to pseudoephedrine by making it a prescription drug, despite heavy lobbying against the bill from the pharmaceutical industry. Since then, the number of meth labs in the state has fallen drastically—by more than 90 percent. Faced with the mounting social, law enforcement, and environmental costs associated with meth, legislators in at least 25 other states sought to pass similar laws. But pharmaceutical lobbyists fought back, and in all but one state—Mississippi—the bills were defeated. My reporting examined how the industry has set state lobbying spending records as it has deployed a new kind of lobbying strategy to block regulation of pseudoephedrine. Instead of focusing their efforts on courting politicians, they have taken their message directly to voters, deploying thousands of robocalls in key electoral districts and large ad buys in major media markets for advertising across multiple platforms from radio to the Internet. Their messaging, I found, was deceptive, failing to even mention that the proposed bills had to do with combatting the meth epidemic. I also examined the results of an electronic pseudoephedrine sales tracking database known as NPLEx, which is meant to prevent excessive purchasing. While it’s the only reform to ever earn backing from the pharmaceutical industry, I found a system full of holes that has been ineffective at preventing the spread of meth labs in virtually every state that has adopted it.
  • Under the Hood: The AAMCO Investigation

    AAMCO, the world’s largest transmission repair chain, pulled its multi-million dollar advertising campaign, retrained more than 700 franchise owners nationwide, conducted thousands of dollars in overdue repairs and now faces a class action lawsuit filed by its own franchisees all as a result of our year-long investigation.
  • Stronger Than The Storm

    NJ Gov. Chris Christie and his hand-picked appointees directed that $25 million of the federal superstorm Sandy rescue money be used in a TV advertising campaign that starred Christie during his reelection year. The Press found that the section committee paid a politically connected PR firm $2 million more in profits than the losing bidder - who said they would not put the governor in the TV commercials.