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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "democracy" ...

  • 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.
  • The Brexit Short

    How powerful financiers exploited democracy for profit, buying inside information to reap fortunes as Europe’s biggest vote in years sparked a record crash.
  • FRONTLINE: The Facebook Dilemma

    The promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation, mounting crises have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful? This major, two-night event investigates a series of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. With dozens of original interviews and rare footage, The Facebook Dilemma examines the powerful social media platform’s impact on privacy and democracy in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Democracy Now! Special: Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara—A Rare Look Inside Africa’s Last Colony

    Democracy Now! breaks a multiyear media blockade on occupied Western Sahara imposed by the Kingdom of Morocco, documenting the brutality of an occupation inside Africa’s last colony.
  • 60 Minutes: Hacking Democracy

    During the 2016 presidential election, Russian operatives launched a widespread cyberattack against state voting systems around the country. While officials say no votes were changed on election day, America's election infrastructure remains vulnerable just seven months before the 2018 midterm elections.
  • Hacking Democracy

    NBC News broke a series of exclusive stories about the U.S. government assessment that Russian intelligence had mounted a covert operation to interfere in the American presidential election, and about efforts to prevent manipulation of the vote itself. http://qlnk.io/ql/58753f16e4b036c5d233fddc http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news/video/sources-intel-has-drawn-direct-links-to-russia-in-election-hackings-776086083639
  • The Long Arm of China

    A global team exposes China’s clandestine efforts to export propaganda, shape world opinion and assert political control in the heart of Western democracies.
  • “China’s Real Estate Mogul” and “China’s Real Estate Bubble”

    This two-part report peers into China’s opaque economy through the windows of its gleaming new skyscrapers to reveal seemingly polar realities. On one hand, we look at the promise of the “new China” by profiling commercial real estate developer Zhang Xin, whose journey from a Maoist reeducation camp and sweatshops to becoming one of the richest women on earth is a metaphor of China’s rise from the backwaters of Communism to, as some put it, “Capitalism on steroids.” It’s the American dream lived out in Beijing. Xin’s buildings are modern shrines to Capitalism and globalism – statements of how China is opening up to Western ideas. But with financial gain comes a yearning for more. In a surprising moment, Xin publicly challenged her country’s leaders on our air, saying the current political system inevitably must be replaced by democracy: a rare and brave statement to make in such a forum.
  • Grandma can’t accept your call: Inmates disconnected by phone costs

    This series of stories started with a simple question. Why does it cost so much for inmates to make calls from the Cook County Jail? In the course of my reporting on criminal and legal affairs for WBEZ, the public radio station in Chicago, I had heard numerous people complain about the high cost of phone calls. Some digging confirmed that the price could be as high as $15.00 for 15 minute calls. Three or four calls a week at that price gets expensive even for financially stable middle class folks, but the people paying these fees were mostly the poorest residents in Chicago. That’s because most of the people in the Cook County Jail are there because they and their families couldn’t afford to post bond of a couple thousand, or sometimes even just hundreds of dollars to secure their freedom while awaiting trial. They are the people who are least able to afford such expensive phone calls. A few FOIA requests revealed the scheme (and scheme is the right word… I just looked it up: a crafty or secret plan of action). Cook County gave an exclusive phone contract to a company called Securus Technologies. Securus charged inflated phone rates and their exclusive deal in the jail meant inmates wanting to talk to their families or arrange their defense had no choice but to pay the rates. Securus then paid back to the county 57½ percent of the revenue from the calls. It netted the county about $4 million a year. Securus wouldn’t tell us their take but I imagine they did alright too. All of the money was coming out of the pockets of the poorest residents in Cook County, people who couldn’t even afford to post bond for their freedom. (As an aside, this isn’t just an issue in Cook County. According to its website Securus provides the phone systems for 850,000 inmates in 2,200 jails and prisons across the country.) Our reporting shed public light on a hugely profitable contract that no one was paying attention to. We documented the lives of the impoverished people getting hammered by the policy and then turned the hammer on the local elected officials to ask them to explain how this was a good policy. The public officials responded in a way that once again proved the genius of democracy. Our efforts and the results are detailed in subsequent answers below.
  • Big Money 2012

    Big Money 2012 is an unprecedented multi-platform project to investigate campaign finance in the post-Citizens United era. Spanning television documentary, radio and online news outlets, this initiative draws on the award-winning talents of some of the best in the industry to dig deep into a story that goes to the foundations of our democracy. FRONTLINE’s pre-election TV broadcast of Big Sky, Big Money in partnership with American Public Media’s Marketplace formed the center of this multiplatform investigation, Big Money 2012, which continued on the radio and on the web. Further coverage of this timely story also continued online as part of ProPublica’s Dark Money series featuring reporting by ProPublica investigative reporter Kim Barker with Rick Young and Emma Schwartz reporting for FRONTLINE. Big Money 2012 tells a tale of money, politics, and intrigue in the remote epicenter of campaign finance, Montana. The investigation led the teams from big sky country—to a meth house in Colorado and to a UPS store in D.C. as they followed a trail of documents. What they find exposes the inner-workings of a dark money group. In all, it’s a unique collaboration a year in the making, which has led to robust journalism with real impact. And, the story is still unfolding.