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 "aggression" ...

  • "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.
  • Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

    In response to mass shootings, some schools and hospitals have been installing devices equipped with machine learning algorithms that purport to identify stressed and angry voices before violence erupts. Our analysis found this technology unreliable. Our goal was to reverse-engineer the algorithm, so we could see for ourselves if it actually worked as the company advertised. (One salesperson suggested to us that the device could prevent the next school shooting.) We purchased the device and rewired its programming so we could feed it any sound clip of our choosing. We then played gigabytes of sound files for the algorithm and measured its prediction for each. After this preliminary testing, we ran several real-world experiments to test where the algorithm could be flawed. We recorded the voices of high school students in real-world situations, collected the algorithm's predictions and analyzed them.
  • Who Protects Reputation for the Bolibourgeoisie?

    While investigating corruption in Venezuela's oil industry, I stumbled upon dozens of newly created websites that appeared to exist only to obfuscate search results about the people I was investigating. It was what technologists call "black-hat reputation management." I tried to figure out who might be behind this effort, and ended up on a months-long hunt that connected several otherwise unrelated scams. I tentatively identified the person who was working for all of these different scammers. This article shows how I solved the puzzle. The article became the best-read page on my blog, thanks in part to a link from Boing Boing. In response to it, Google.com changed its search results, the reputation manager deleted some of the offending sites, and someone decided to take out aggression on me. Immediately after I posted the article, someone, most likely the person fingered in my investigation, posted web sites that say I'm an extortionist on the run from the law. The revenge sites also include personal family photos taken from my mother's Facebook page. This article shows that an independent, unfunded blog can do serious investigative journalism with a real-world impact.
  • Chantix: Miracle cure for dangerous drug?

    An investigation into the anti-smoking drug Chantix/Varenicline found many adverse reactions in the FDA's public database. The reactions included aggression, violent behavior and thoughts of suicide. "A follow report detailed how drugs are sent to market with minimal testing."
  • Captain WOW: When is Mental State Of a Pilot Grounds for Grounding Him?

    The Wall Street Journal reports on the case of a pilot, Capt. Witter, diagnosed with personal disorder. "The Witter case, offering a look inside the normally closed world of the cockpit shows just how difficult it can be to decide whether a pilot is mentally fit to fly. Of 5.066 pilot groundings for medical reasons in the past two years, 915 involved psychological or psychiatric disorders."
  • The muscle murders

    The subculture of hard-core bodybuilding offers unusually fertile soil for aggression and, in some cases, deadly violence. Studies have shown that the ingestion of large quantities of anabolic steroids can trigger episodes of violent rage in certain people. Researchers who have studied both bodybuilders and the effects of steroid abuse agree that these athletes seem more inclined to extremely violent behavior than performers in any of the more conventional sports. Murder in muscledom isn't uncommon.
  • Politics of Biology

    Herbert explores the politics surrounding the nature vs. nurture debate. The article looks at whether alcoholism, homosexuality, aggression, mental illnesses and psychiatric disorders are linked to biology. Whether they are choices or diseases influences everything from insurance coverage to new research funding.
  • (Untitled)

    Miami Herald reports that the Miami police department does not take seriously complaints against officers who use excessive force upon suspects; three officers under investigation in the fatal beating of a suspected drug dealer had been named earlier in a department memo listing officers cited for unnecessary aggression, Dec. 19, 30, 1988, Jan. 15, 1989.