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 "inaction" ...

  • ESPN Outside the Lines/E:60: “Spartan Secrets”

    ESPN’s investigation of sexual assault and abuse claims involving young women and athletes broke through the oft-held defense that the problem was just one bad actor. Our original reporting on sexual abuse claims against former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, and how the university dealt with sex assault claims against student athletes, revealed systems that enabled abuse, and involved reports of widespread mishandling – and silencing – of women who said they suffered for years after reporting their assaults. The investigation went well beyond the actions of Nassar, and unveiled a widespread pattern of denial, inaction and information suppression. Michigan State in particular did not want this information out, but through requests for data, documents and a lengthy court battle, along with securing valuable sources, ESPN prevailed in getting much of what it had requested. At the height of the #MeToo movement, ESPN’s reporting gave a voice to the women who had been silenced, and exposed the failures of the people and institutions tasked with protecting them.
  • Spartan Secrets

    ESPN’s investigation of sexual assault and abuse claims involving young women and athletes broke through the oft-held defense that the problem was just one bad actor. Our original reporting on sexual abuse claims against former Michigan State and USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar, and how the university dealt with sex assault claims against student athletes, revealed systems that enabled abuse, and involved reports of widespread mishandling – and silencing – of women who said they suffered for years after reporting their assaults. The investigation went well beyond the actions of Nassar, and unveiled a widespread pattern of denial, inaction and information suppression. Michigan State in particular did not want this information out, but through requests for data, documents and a lengthy court battle, along with securing valuable sources, ESPN prevailed in getting much of what it had requested. At the height of the #MeToo movement, ESPN’s reporting gave a voice to the women who had been silenced, and exposed the failures of the people and institutions tasked with protecting them.
  • Hell and High Water

    The Houston area is home to 6.5 million people, as well as America’s largest oil refining and petrochemical complex. And it’s a sitting duck for the extreme storms and floods that will become more common as the effects of climate change become more pronounced. So why isn’t Texas — or the federal government — doing more to protect it?
  • Mississippi Child Care Crisis

    Mississippi has some of the lowest standards for child care centers in the country and some of the weakest oversight. The Hechinger Report joined with the Clarion-Ledger to investigate how the state fails to serve all its children well, why it falls short and possible solutions. Our 18-month investigation revealed a child care system in Mississippi plagued by a lack of funding and support. We looked into low standards and pay for child care center employees, difficulties parents face in finding and paying for childcare, and years of legislative inaction in improving conditions for children. We highlighted solutions for the state, such as the Department of Defense’s strong child care system, and investigated trends, such as frequent absences among child care center directors. In December, Mississippi officials said the state would adopt a host of new strategies meant to reform the system, many of them similar to the best practices we wrote about.
  • ESPN, Outside the Lines: "Sasha's Story" and "Victims of Inaction"

    Rare in sports journalism is the investigative story that not only unearths a major institutional failure, but prompts comprehensive policy and other changes that aim to help thousands if not millions of people around the nation. That is what happened as a result of ESPN’s 16-month investigation into the death of a University of Missouri swimmer who struggled with mental illness and the effects of a sexual assault – two of the largest issues facing college students today.
  • Children are Dying

    This special report broke the story of a public health crisis affecting hundreds of thousands of people: a nationwide shortage of IV nutrients so drastic that hospitals were hoarding, rationing, and bartering them in order to keep patients from dying. Despite the veil of secrecy surrounding the issue, Robbins persuaded hospital staff, patient families, and drug manufacturing personnel to speak for this story. She gained access to Congressional documents that had not been made public, used Internet archival research to track the FDA’s drug shortage updates, and reviewed hundreds if not thousands of pages of FDA records, government briefs and reports, and medical studies to determine how these problems could happen in 21st-century America when they were not happening abroad. The article went viral on social media, was Longreads.com’s number-one article of the week and became the most viewed online article in Washingtonian history. As a result of the piece, a source and a reader together started a petition to Congress that has amassed thousands of signatures. The article also has been circulated among the staff of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. After two-and-a-half years of inaction – one week after Washingtonian published the article and about three months after Robbins began making inquiries to FDA employees – the FDA announced that it finally would begin to import some of the nutrients in shortage.
  • Broken Shield

    Decades ago, California created a special police force to patrol exclusively at its five state developmental centers – taxpayer-funded institutions where patients with severe autism and cerebral palsy have been beaten, tortured and raped by staff members. But California Watch found that this state force, the Office of Protective Services, does an abysmal job bringing perpetrators to justice. Reporter Ryan Gabrielson, a Pulitzer Prize winner, exposed the depths of the abuse inside these developmental centers while showing how sworn officers and detectives wait too long to start investigations, fail to collect evidence and ignore key witnesses – leading to an alarming inability to solve crimes inflicted upon some of society’s most vulnerable citizens. Dozens of women were sexually assaulted inside state centers, but police investigators didn’t order “rape kits” to collect evidence, a standard law enforcement tool. Police waited so long to investigate one sexual assault that the staff janitor accused of rape fled the country, leaving behind a pregnant patient incapable of caring for a child. The police force’s inaction also allowed abusive caregivers to continue molesting patients – even after the department had evidence that could have stopped future assaults. Many of the victims chronicled by California Watch are so disabled they cannot utter a word. Gabrielson gave them a resounding voice. Our Broken Shield series prompted far-reaching change, including a criminal investigation, staff retraining and new laws – all intended to bring greater safeguards and accountability.
  • PBPost: Kids In Peril

    This series exposed 30 years of inaction and broken promises by state lawmakers who knew that children were at risk in unlicensed summer camps across Florida yet enacted no basic laws to protect them; as a result, kids were sexually abused and many more are put at risk.
  • Southern Exposure - "The New Loan Sharks"

    This two issue series documents how market forces and regulatory inaction have fostered a pattern of impropriety and lawbreaking among major lenders. The first issue focused on how Citigroup has become the leader in "subprime loans" targeted at moderate-income and minority borrowers. The article is supplemented by a timeline, sidebars and maps and tells the story of people whose financial lives have been wrecked by Citigroup's practices. Then, SE conducts an investigation of the subprime autofinancing market, They find that questionable car sales tactics are institutionalized practices fueled by top-down market forces and the policies of GMAC, Nissan and other big players.
  • Civil Inaction

    The American Lawyer looks at a topic creeping further into the spotlight: The Superfund debate. Some say litigation over any Superfund sites can be worth up to $500 million, while others say that they can be worth nothing. Some of the major problems with pursuing these kinds of cases are discussed in this story.