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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  • Mafia Spies: The Inside Story of the CIA, Gangster, JFK and Castro

    MAFIA SPIES tells the story of America’s first known attempt at state-sanctioned assassination: how the CIA recruited two top gangsters, Sam Giancana and Johnny Roselli, in a plot to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro during the Cold War. Using recently declassified documents, MAFIA SPIES reveals many details about the US clandestine military effort from a hidden CIA base in Florida to get rid of Castro and, even more remarkably, how Castro managed to avoid getting killed with the help of a Soviet-trained Cuban spy network and double agents placed in Florida. Using FBI and police records, MAFIA SPIES also points to mobster Santo Trafficante as the likely mastermind in the unsolved murders of Giancana and Roselli, as the proverbial “last one standing” in this complex spy tale.
  • Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism: Undemocratic

    An investigative reporting class at the University of Wisconsin-Madison investigated the state of Wisconsin's democracy. It found that partisan gerrymandering, voter restrictions, secret campaign money, furtive legislative moves and fast-tracking of bills increasingly leave Wisconsin's citizens in the dark when it comes to state policy making and spending.
  • Stanford University: Wildland Development Escalates California Fire Costs

    The Camp Fire is just the latest mega-fire in California — and the cost of fighting such fires has risen dramatically. California dwarfs other states in fire-suppression costs, an analysis by a Stanford journalism class has found. The Stanford class analyzed daily reports from the most expensive fires in every state from 2014 to 2017, and found that dense development at the border of wildlands — in communities like Paradise, Cobb, and Santa Rosa — helps explain California fires’ exceptional damage and expense to put out.
  • Getting Guns Out of Dangerous Hands

    KING 5's reporting led to a new law in Washington state and a new task force targeting people who are prohibited from owning guns. The stories focused on gun laws that are supposed to keep firearms out of the hands of two classes of dangerous people: Those with criminal records, and those accused of domestic violence. Two separate series of investigative reports revealed that those laws were not enforced by the criminal justice system, and victims were paying for that with their lives.
  • Chalkbeat and Bridge: The crisis caused by students changing schools

    A detailed examination of a serious education crises that had been largely unknown in Detroit: Parents repeatedly moving their children from one struggling school to the next in an often-futile quest to find better educational options. In a city where school choice policies encourage school shopping, research shows that 1 in 3 elementary school students changes schools every year. Yet few local leaders or policymakers were aware of the high rates of student churn. Even fewer understood the impact that so much movement has on schools and on the ability of students to succeed. Our five-part series, called “Moving Costs,” set out to change that by telling the stories in a single classroom, where the typical student had cycled through four or more schools on the road to eighth grade. It shed light on the turmoil in classrooms where teachers must routinely scramble to accommodate new students, then see them leave mid-year without saying good-bye.
  • Alternative schools bear the brunt of student deaths in Chicago

    This investigative story shines a light on why Chicago students who’ve died are most likely to attend an alternative school and the lack of resources these schools have historically been provided by Chicago Public Schools to help students cope with the deaths of their classmates and other traumas. While many stories have focused on how Chicago’s gun violence hurts children and teens, this story used never-before-published data and more than 50 interviews to examine how gun violence is impacting the education of some of the city’s most vulnerable students. Public alternative high schools are often considered schools of “last resort” that take in children who’ve had discipline, attendance and academic issues in their prior schools. It’s often where students with gang affiliations and safety concerns are sent. And it’s where students are most likely to die.
  • #MeToo Unmasks the Open Secret of Sexual Abuse in Yoga

    A KQED callout for #MeToo accounts in the Bay Area yoga world and our ensuing nine-month investigation revealed a range of allegations by seven women against five teachers: from inappropriate massage to a violating touch in class, from drugging to sex with a minor. I found that the yoga community is struggling to rein in this sexual misconduct and abuse in its ranks. Some experts believe the lack of oversight of teachers and schools is adding to the problems of an industry experiencing explosive growth, where touch and trust are a fundamental part of the practice.
  • Labeled for Life

    “Labeled for Life”, a three-part investigative series, published by the Columbia Missourian in May of 2018, exposed and explored Missouri’s rigid sex offender laws months prior to a major legislative change that enabled some registrants to petition to be removed from the lifetime list. This local reporting project began as a class assignment and grew into a big national story that brought to light Missouri’s booming export of sex offenders to neighboring states where laws are not as stringent.
  • Back of the Class

    The multi-part investigation "Back of the Class" exposed that Washington state lags behind much of the country in its decades-old, outdated special education policies and program, leaving thousands of students with special needs without their federally mandated right to a free and appropriate education.
  • California Prosecution Fees

    The Desert Sun uncovered how residents of three cities in the Coachella Valley were being billed massive fees that paid for private attorneys the city had contracted to go after the residents' for minor city code violations. Petty offenses, like having a messy yard or hanging a Halloween decoration on a street light, led to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars being demanded of the residents. If they couldn't pay, liens were assessed. Following the reporting, the cities stopped the practice, state lawmakers made it illegal in California and a class-action lawsuit led to at least one city refunding the residents.