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 "commodities" ...

  • The Traffickers: The Girl in the Window

    The Traffickers is an investigative documentary series which traces the global trafficking routes of some of the world’s most sought after commodities: Gold, exotic animals, sex, even human body parts - anything can be bought for a price. The aim was ambitious - to give an exclusive guide to the global black market world, with high production values, excellent cinematography, dynamic story-telling and outstanding journalism. The series is presented by Nelufar Hedayat, who herself was trafficked as a child refugee from war-torn Afghanistan. During the course of filming, Nelufar visited 22 different countries, criss-crossing the world to follow the story. The Dark Side of Adoption reveals how American couples adopting babies from the DRC can be caught up in an adoption scam which hoodwinks unsuspecting parents into giving up their children.
  • Green Going Gone: The Tragic Deforestation of the Chaco

    This corporate accountability story combined original satellite analysis with traditional on-the-ground investigative reporting to examine links between deforestation and the world’s largest agricultural commodities traders: The U.S.-based Cargill, Bunge and ADM. The story paid special attention to Cargill, North America’s largest private corporation and the commodities trader that has spent millions on its corporate sustainability program and aggressively promotes itself as a nature conservationist. Reported from Paraguay, the story compared the Big Ag traders’ soybean export operations in Paraguay with those in Brazil, where the three companies have won praise for upholding the Soy Moratorium, a voluntary ban on expanding the Amazon’s soybean frontier. The Moratorium is widely credited with slowing rainforest clearing in Brazil over the last eight years. In neighboring Paraguay during roughly the same timeframe, however, the country’s soybean cropland has expanded by nearly one-third with an additional 2.5 million acres brought into cultivation. This rapid expansion has set off a land rush that is, among other things, propelling the rapid disappearance of South America’s second most bio-diverse forests, the Gran Chaco.
  • Excessive Speculation Distorts Commodity Markets, Harms Consumers

    The topic of our series was excessive financial speculation in commodity markets. Throughout one year, I worked on a series of labor-intensive investigative pieces showing how the influx of financial speculators in the futures market had distorted the price of crude oil, coffee, cotton and other commodities.
  • Excessive Speculation Distorts Commodity Markets, Harms Consumers

    The topic of our series was excessive financial speculation in commodity markets. Throughout one year, I worked on a series of labor-intensive investigative pieces showing how the influx of financial speculators in the futures market had distorted the price of crude oil, coffee, cotton and other commodities.
  • Liquid Assets--Turning water into gold

    Due to a unique water ownership structure established nearly two decades ago, suburban Denver communities have been forced to pay the highest water connection fees in the country. According to this investigation, this has created a competition for resources to fuel the booming population growth in the suburbs, creating an "unregulated and often untraceable commodities market in Colorado."
  • Energy Alley

    Due to deregulation, energy became part of a full-blown commodity market. In the midst of the power crisis in California, Jurgens travelled to Houston to figure out the complex world of the energy giants that played a major part. It would be a scant few months before companies like Enron became embroiled in a financial wrongdoing controversy.
  • The Inmate Bazaar

    Governing reports on the issue of prison privatization using the example of Holdenville, OK. Holdenville took a gamble building a $34 million prison and hoping that the state would send prisoners there to relieve overcrowding rather than sending them -- and a $41/day per diem -- to prisons in Texas. Since the prison opened in Holdenville, other private prisons have also opened up across the state, many housing overflow prisoners from across the country. The model of treating prisoners as commodities raises some problems of its own, however.
  • The Body Bazaar

    "Blood, kidneys, eggs, sperm--name a body part, there's a price on it. Think of it as a commodities market for the 21st century." Discover takes a look at the controversy surrounding payment for organ donations and includes the legalities of donating. Advancements and history of organ donations profiled.
  • Market grows rotten season for apples

    Business Direct Weekly investigates the crisis facing Michigan apple growers. Inexpensive imported apples from China are driving down prices, and many apple farmers will find it's cheaper to destroy this year's bumper crop than to process it.
  • (Untitled)

    The Washington Post magazine investigates Dwayne Andreas, the head of Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM). Andreas is friends with the leaders of most powerful nations of the world and has donated millions to hundreds of different causes. Some consider him to be indestructible; however, the government is now investigating Andreas for fixing prices on commodities. (July 14, 1996)