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 "disaster" ...

  • Puerto Rico After the Storms: Recovery and Fraud

    U.S. taxpayer are footing the biggest bill ever for a natural disaster, $91 billion, going to a government mired in corruption and under FBI investigation. We are the only news program that we know of to tackle and extensively report on how much has been promised and how little has actually been received in the wake of hurricanes Maria and Irma. We travelled to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, learning there has been a great deal of misreporting and misunderstanding about these numbers, which were not easily accessible. To get at the true amounts, we obtained and examined federal and territory documents, pressed the governor’s office, and interviewed officials responsible for the aid including Puerto Rico’s top hurricane recovery official and FEMA’s top official in Puerto Rico. During our visit, there was a popular uprising against the government followed by the governor's resignation, and additional FBI arrests of U.S. and Puerto Rican officials and contractors.
  • NPR: How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich

    Disasters are becoming more common in the U.S. as climate change drives more severe droughts, floods and wildfires. The federal government spends billions of dollars annually helping communities rebuild and prevent future damage. But an NPR investigation and analysis of data obtained by suing the federal government has found that those dollars follow and perpetuate inequities in the U.S. economy.
  • WBTV Investigates: Hurricane Recovery Delays

    Two hurricanes devastated parts of eastern North Carolina two years apart: Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018. Despite the gap, the state had made little progress in helping victims of Hurricane Matthew get back in their owns by the time Florence hit. For the past year, we've uncovered problem after problem with the state's efforts to administer hundreds of millions of dollars in federal disaster aid. Our work has prompted multiple legislative hearings; the creation of a legislative investigative committee and the formation of a new state disaster recovery office.
  • The Weather Channel Digital: Exodus: The Climate Migration Crisis

    Exodus: The Climate Migration Crisis looks at a complicated problem that is of staggering importance, putting human faces on a truly global issue. The Weather Channel Digital and its partners told stories of climate migration as documentaries, photo essays and in-depth articles, and also asked individuals to weigh in with their personal experiences and professional analysis. The result is a rich, subtle and, frankly, upsetting look at a moment when humanity is frustratingly unprepared for the changes it's already wrought in the world.
  • The Center for Public Integrity: Tax Breaks: The Favored Few

    In February 2018, Congress passed a massive budget bill, and President Donald Trump signed it. It provided new money for the military. It funded disaster relief efforts. And it raised the nation’s “debt ceiling” — allowing the government to secure new loans. While these provisions grabbed headlines amid the chaos of what was, at best, a slapdash scramble to pass a budget and avert another government shutdown, a gaggle of goodies, benefiting a bevy of special interests, slipped into the bill’s 652 pages almost unnoticed. These goodies are called “tax extenders.” Seeing an opportunity to boldly tell an effectively untold tale, the staff of the Center for Public Integrity endeavored to explain how every tax extender — more than 30 in all — came to fruition and reveal how lobbyists gamed the political system and squeezed $16 billion worth of special favors from it. This project represented a rare example of deep investigative reporting on Congress. While hundred of reporters cover what Mitch MCConnell and Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, very few unravel how the institution of Congress is corrupted.
  • North Bay Bohemian: Sonoma Trifecta

    The three interlocking stories uncovered a real estate investor-banking-media network that illuminates the shape of Sonoma County’s “shadow” government. A development partnership angling for a county contract includes a county official who partners with a banker who flaunts ethics regulations in a fire disaster rebuild area. An owner of a major local newspaper is a board member of the bank which receives favorable press coverage in the newspaper for its fire deals that do not disclose the ownership connection. Another owner of the newspaper, a real estate investor and political consultant, is found to have defrauded a local Indian tribe in a real estate deal and in cahoots with the son of a U.S. Senator. As we go to press, the newspaper fails to report on the fraud when confronted with the relevant court documents, publishing only a 900 word story on a “dispute” that our 3,500 story unveils as fraud and breach of contract. The need for surviving alt-weeklies to keep publishing hard-hitting LOCAL investigative journalism is reaffirmed.
  • Boston Globe: Lawrence Gas Explosions

    After the Merrimack Valley region of Massachusetts was rocked on Sept. 13, 2018, by natural gas explosions that killed one young man, displaced thousands of residents, and cut off heat and power to homes and businesses for three months, the Boston Globe responded with dozens of daily stories as well as a steady stream of investigative pieces, attempting to tell readers exactly what had happened and why -- and whether the officials working to set things right were up to the task. Here are five early examples of investigative work connected to the disaster.
  • Atmos gas explosion

    “Atmos gas explosion” is a WFAA investigation into lax regulatory oversight and shoddy maintenance of Atmos Energy, a natural gas supplier, that puts millions of North Texas residents in continued danger. The series of stories was triggered by a fatal natural gas home explosion that killed a 12-year-old girl.
  • 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.