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 "corporate" ...

  • In the hot seat

    When reporters at NBC News began probing OSHA severe injury data in February 2019, an interesting takeaway emerged: UPS had a higher rate of heat injuries than any other company. At least 107 UPS workers in 23 states had been hospitalized for heat illnesses since 2015. In severe cases, heat can lead to organ failure and death. But regulators have little enforcement ability on this issue because there is no OSHA standard protecting workers from heat--even as climate change brings record-breaking temperatures. NBC News filed more than two dozen public records requests for state-level data -- to supplement the federal OSHA data -- and hundreds of pages of incident reports, and spoke with dozens of UPS employees, uncovering a corporate culture that exacerbated the problem. Long hours, heavy routes, fear of retaliation and sweltering trucks and warehouses pushed workers workers past their limits. Managers pushing workers to continue working when sick, and employees too intimidated to report their injuries. UPS claimed that their iconic brown trucks do not get dangerously hot, but NBC News sent five temperature loggers in packages across the country, during one of the hottest weeks of the summer. The results showed that each package exceeded 100 degrees while on a truck, with one hitting nearly 115 degrees. Drivers around the country also sent us images of temperature readings they took in their own trucks -- the hottest clocked in at 158 degrees. Between rising temperatures and the growing demands of the two-day delivery economy, dozens of UPS drivers said conditions are getting worse. Follow up stories uncovered additional injuries and more examples of UPS poorly protecting its workers from the heat. Following our story, OSHA fined UPS for a heat injury for the first time in nearly a decade.
  • The Texas Observer and Grist with The Investigative Fund: Too Big to Fine, Too Small to Fight Back

    Citgo refineries spew thousands of tons of chemicals into the air, degrading air quality and putting human health at risk. Despite Citgo's revenues hitting north of $40 billion, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lets the company off easy. For her investigation in The Texas Observer, in partnership with Grist and The Investigative Fund, Naveena Sadasivam dug into how the TCEQ has fined corporate polluters $30 million for air violations, not much more than the $24 million imposed on gas stations, a significant percentage of which are owned by immigrants, just for record-keeping errors. The disparity between TCEQ's treatment of mom-and-pop operations versus large corporations favors those with money and power. The agency rarely punishes big polluters, often because of a legal loophole, and when it does levy a fine, lawyers negotiate big reductions in penalties. As a result, environmental advocates and small business owners say there's a fundamental unfairness at work with the way TCEQ treats the businesses it regulates.
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

    In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.
  • The Whistleblowers

    Whistleblower stories once proliferated the news. But with corporate and political interests working to control the agenda at many news outlets, whistleblower accounts have largely gotten shuffled to the sidelines. We decided to tackle them in depth in a series of reports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHWeE3OTq4M
  • Federal Whistleblower Program Fails to Protect

    From airlines to pipelines, they are the workers on the front lines who speak up when systems break down. An NBC Bay Area investigation reveals that the federal program designed to protect whistleblowers who raise red flags about public health, environmental violations and corporate wrongdoing, is failing to meet its mission. Insiders say that puts all of us at risk. http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/Federal-Whistleblower-Investigator-Fired-After-Blowing-the-Whistle-on-His-Own-Agency-332240782.html http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/OSHA-Dismisses-Majority-of-Whistleblower-Cases-Agency-Investigates-332258162.html http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/OSHA-Whistleblower-Investigator-Blows-Whistle-on-Own-Agency--293711041.html
  • Univision: A Tall Tale or Un cuento chino in Spanish

    A Tall Tale tells the story of a Chinese businessman who was arrested for drug trafficking after $205 million was seized from his Mexico City mansion and the political and corporate interests that underpinned his prosecution.
  • Business Donors Shunning McCain for Democratic Candidates

    Republican corporate donors in 2004 are now giving to Democrats or not at all.
  • Sony Hack

    Electronic infiltration has become the signature crime of the 21st century, and Fortune’s “Inside the Hack of the Century” tells the story of the most devastating attack to date: the cyberassault that brought Sony Pictures to its knees. Later attributed to the North Korean government, it spread terror not only throughout the movie industry, where theaters refused to show Sony’s The Interview for fear it would prompt reprisals from North Korea (which was furious that the movie depicted the assassination of its leader), but throughout corporate America.
  • A Cross-Border Clash of the Titans

    Voice of San Diego senior reporter and assistant editor Liam Dillon spent eight months investigating one of the largest political corruption scandals in San Diego history. Dillon, assisted by Mexican journalist Vicente Calderón, produced stories that took readers to corporate boardrooms in the United States and Mexico, gas stations and warehouses in suburban San Diego and surveillance deals in Israel. The resulting series, A Cross-Border Clash of the Titans, answered many questions about the wealthy Mexican businessman at the center of the scandal and his feud with one of San Diego’s largest corporations.
  • The Dysfunction in Drug Prices

    The U.S. market for prescription drugs is an Alice-in-Wonderland corner of capitalism, immune to the usual forces of supply and demand. A team of Wall Street Journal reporters exposed the inner workings of a dysfunctional system that fuels corporate profits on unrestrained price increases, with no accountability to the patients, businesses and government payers that must bear the cost.