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 "data analysis" ...

  • Trading Away Justice

    Guilty pleas have become the go-to solution for the nation’s overburdened courts. They account for nine of every 10 convictions in the United States. But our near-total reliance on plea bargaining has created a parallel justice system -- one without the constitutional safeguards of trials, that operates largely in secret and with little oversight. Through case studies and data analysis, “Trading Away Justice” documents how even innocent defendants are being pressured into pleading guilty.
  • Gunshots and Lockdowns: When Nearby Gun Violence Interrupts The School Day

    The piece focuses on how daily gun violence affects schools in Washington, D.C. What happens when students go to school in areas with a high rate of gun crime? To avoid emotional harm, we took a secondary data analysis approach to answering that question — pulling gunshot data from D.C.'s Shotspotter database. We then calculated the number of gunshots within a 1,000-foot radius of schools, and used the geography of the city to begin to find our way to an answer.
  • NationSwell: Forgotten Victims

    An investigation by NationSwell looked at county data in six states — Arizona, New Jersey, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas — which showed that thousands of families are denied compensation each year because of the contributory conduct clause. Regulators involved in processing claims say they are just following federal law and that there needs to be top-down change in order for there to be significant progress on the best way to assist financially strapped families. But one victim services group, Every Murder Is Real, based in Philadelphia — i.e. the city with the highest number of compensation claims filed each year in Pennsylvania — is helping families navigate the system and fight for their right to fair treatment.
  • Politico: Wage Theft

    Raising hourly pay is a rallying cry for politicians and activists, but they’ve put little attention on a key problem for low-wage workers: states often fail to get workers the money they’re owed. Combining data analysis and interviews, a nine-month Politico investigation found workers are so lightly protected that six states have no investigators to handle minimum-wage violations, while 26 additional states have fewer than 10 investigators. Given the widespread nature of wage theft and the dearth of resources to combat it, an estimated $15 billion in desperately needed income for workers with the lowest wages goes instead into the pockets of shady bosses.
  • In The Dark Season 2

    In the Dark is an investigative podcast that raises profound questions about whether the criminal justice system in America is fair and just. Season Two investigates the case of Curtis Flowers, a black man on death row in Mississippi who has been tried six times for the same crime. Over 11 episodes, the product of more than a year’s worth of meticulous reporting and data analysis, In the Dark reveals what can happen when the power of a prosecutor goes unchecked.
  • Houston Chronicle and ProPublica: Heart Failure

    Heart recipients at an acclaimed hospital were dying at a high rate, and patients had been kept in the dark. After an investigation by the Houston Chronicle and ProPublica, Medicare cut off funding and the hospital replaced its lead surgeon.
  • Global News/Toronto Star: Dispensing Harm

    After months of data analysis, a collaboration of Canadian journalists exposed drug-dealing pharmacists who abuse their professional privileges for personal profit. These rogue pharmacists traffic large quantities of prescription drugs, providing a supply line of illicit drugs to the street and contributing to the deadly opioid epidemic. The investigation also found that the government has the tools to crack down on this criminal behavior, but isn't using them.
  • Freelance: Abandoning American coal mines

    Since reaching a historical high in 2008, U.S. coal production plummeted by a third in the ensuing decade. Companies accounting for nearly half the coal dug across the country declared for bankruptcy in 2015 and 2016, and President Donald Trump’s rhetorical ending of the “war on coal” has shown no meaningful signs of reviving the industry. With the writing on the wall for U.S. coal, I investigated the system meant to guarantee that funds are available to pay for environmental cleanup. I built first-of-their-kind databases to determine how much money was in this system, where it was held and other trends in the industry such as levels of oversight and types of post-mining land uses. A combination of data analysis and ground-level reporting from around the country resulted in stories that showed myriad issues in protecting cleanup funds, which result in scarred land and polluted air and water.
  • BETRAYED: Chicago schools fail to protect students from sexual abuse and assault, leaving lasting damage

    In “Betrayed,” Tribune reporters for the first time quantified the staggering prevalence of sexual violence against students in a large U.S. school district. Using confidential records, innovative data analysis and sensitive interviews with young people, the team discovered and verified 523 times when police investigated a case of sexual assault or abuse of a child inside a Chicago public school in the last decade. Reporters told the wrenching stories of young victims and uncovered child-protection failures that extended from neighborhood schools to the district's downtown offices and the state capital. For years, media outlets attempted to measure the problem of sexual violence against students by examining the cases of disciplined educators or those convicted of crimes. But those efforts failed to account for cases where students are abused by peers or the adult abuser was not punished. By pursuing crimes against students that were documented in police records, the Tribune shed light on a hidden injustice. The reporting proved to be a catalyst for change, leading to massive reforms by district officials, 12 state reform bills and enforcement efforts by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights.
  • CALmatters: With California school bonds, the rich get richer and the poor, not so much

    Over the last two decades, voters in California have approved unprecedented amounts of local school bonds – to the tune of $113 billion – to modernize school facilities. But, as a CALmatters data analysis has found, schools in the state’s wealthiest communities have been reaping far more of that money than California’s poorer schools.