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 "demographic" ...

  • WSJ: The Forces Behind America's Political Divide

    Why are Americans so divided? The Wall Street Journal set out to answer this question in a set of visually-driven stories that made novel use of economic and demographic data, as well as through an analysis of the original response files from the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that unearthed new insights. Our exploration found that America's political divisions are being driven by economic and social forces that are fairly new in politics.
  • Maria’s dead

    On September 20, Puerto Rico was devastated by the strongest hurricane that has hit the island in the last century. In the weeks after the storm, the government insisted there were only a few dozen deaths, but reporting on the ground by the Center for Investigative Journalism suggested there were hundreds. Officials also refused to provide overall mortality statistics that could help measure the impact of the storm. Given the lack of a reliable official death toll, we put together our own database with information collected from family members through an online survey, reporting, and tips. We verified those deaths by matching the victims’ names with government death records CPI eventually obtained through a lawsuit, and through nearly 300 phone interviews with victims’ relatives. We analyzed that material, as well as historic demographic data, to detect changes in mortality trends after the storm.
  • Hurricane Maria’s dead

    On September 20, 2017 Puerto Rico was devastated by the strongest hurricane that has hit the island in the last century. In the weeks after the storm, the government insisted there were only a few dozen deaths, but reporting on the ground by the Center for Investigative Journalism suggested there were hundreds. Officials also refused to provide overall mortality statistics that could help measure the impact of the storm. Given the lack of a reliable official death toll, we put together our own database with information collected from family members through an online survey, reporting, and tips. We verified those deaths by matching the victims’ names with government death records CPI eventually obtained through a lawsuit, and through nearly 300 phone interviews with victims’ relatives. We analyzed that material, as well as historic demographic data, to detect changes in mortality trends after the storm.
  • Racial Arrest Breakdown

    The investigation used jail booking data to track the race and gender of every person charged with “Possession With Intent to Distribute Marijuana” in Greenville County over a period of several years. Then they used court records and law enforcement FOIAs to track the location of each arrest. Finally they used census data to understand the demographic composition of each neighborhood in the county. When they were finished, they’d found that black people were arrested for PWID at a far higher rate than white people, neighborhoods with the most black people saw far more arrests, and the rate of black people charged was disproportionate with the demographics in each area. They further established that black and white people use and sell the drug at similar rates meaning the discrepancy with arrests was due to differences in enforcement policy.
  • Census Records Show Asian Population Boom

    Using Census records, this story looks into a dramatic shift in the demographic profile of Fairfax County in Virginia, one of the largest counties in the country. The records showed different Asian subgroups growing at different rates in different parts of the county, trends that were personified by tracking down people whose stories reflected the data. There's also an interactive map to show which parts of the county were seeing the largest increase.
  • How America Gives

    Does a person’s address influence how much they give to charity? The Chronicle analyzed tax and demographic data to determine that tax breaks, politics, faith – even the neighborhoods they call home – can have a profound effect on generosity. Regional differences in giving are stark: In states like Utah and Mississippi, the typical household gives more than 7 percent of its income to charity after taxes, food, housing, and other living expenses, while the average household in Massachusetts and three other New England states gives less than 2 percent. How America Gives explores these differences by state, city, county, and ZIP code and provides the most extensive analysis of generosity ever done. The project includes a sophisticated interactive database that allows online users to explore these differences and compare giving by community.
  • Glamour Beasts: The dark side of elephant captivity

    The zoo industry claims that elephants are thriving inside U.S. zoos. But that’s not true. It never has been. The Times found that elephants are dying out inside zoos. For every elephant born, on average two others die. Just 288 elephants are left inside 78 accredited U.S. zoos. Captive elephants may be demographically extinct within 50 years – there won’t be enough females left to breed. The Times conducted a first-of-its-kind analysis of 390 elephant fatalities for the past 50 years. In a desperate race to make more baby elephants, Seattle’s Woodland Park has tried to artificially inseminate their Asian elephant, Chai, at least 112 times, sometimes adopting crude and reckless procedures. As nearly two dozen zoos have shutdown or plan to close elephant exhibits, nonprofit sanctuaries with thousands of acres represent one option for retired or unwanted elephants. But a zoo industry trade group is fighting a bitter battle to thwart sanctuaries and punish zoos that give up their elephants.
  • Glamour Beasts: The dark side of elephant captivity

    The zoo industry claims that elephants are thriving inside U.S. zoos. But that’s not true. It never has been. The Times found that elephants are dying out inside zoos. For every elephant born, on average two others die. Just 288 elephants are left inside 78 accredited U.S. zoos. Captive elephants may be demographically extinct within 50 years – there won’t be enough females left to breed. The Times conducted a first-of-its-kind analysis of 390 elephant fatalities for the past 50 years. In a desperate race to make more baby elephants, Seattle’s Woodland Park has tried to artificially inseminate their Asian elephant, Chai, at least 112 times, sometimes adopting crude and reckless procedures. As nearly two dozen zoos have shutdown or plan to close elephant exhibits, nonprofit sanctuaries with thousands of acres represent one option for retired or unwanted elephants. But a zoo industry trade group is fighting a bitter battle to thwart sanctuaries and punish zoos that give up their elephants.
  • Murder Mysteries

    Scripps Howard developed a computer algorithim that can identify suspicious clusters of homicides of women that have a significant chance of containing serial murders.
  • Lost Voters

    This investigation reveals how Florida's new, $23 million computer-driven voter registration system actually disenfranchised more than 65,000 would be voters. The story documented how these voters were "lost" by the state, quantified who they were and told their stories.