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 "inequality" ...

  • Opportunity Zones

    Trump’s only significant legislative achievement was his 2017 tax code overhaul. It contained a provision to help the poor, called “opportunity zones.” In 2019, ProPublica showed that while the benefits to the poor have not yet materialized, some people have already reaped the rewards: the wealthy and politically connected. We found that wealthy developers lobbied government officials and got their long-planned investments in luxury projects included in the program, despite its avowed goal of attracting new investment into poor areas. Critically, two of our stories feature areas that never should have been qualified for the program in the first place, but were allowed in by a deeply flawed implementation of the law by the U.S. Treasury Department. They were then selected by state governors after lobbying efforts by wealthy developers. Our articles, along with those of other outlets, led to Congressional calls for investigations into the designation process, as well as proposed reforms to make the program more transparent and to eliminate potential abuses by investors.
  • Texas Tribune: Blocked Out

    The Texas Tribune revealed how powerful people, from state lawmakers and city officials to politically active neighborhood leaders, have made housing of all kinds harder to find, especially subsidized housing for the state’s poorest residents. And it exposed how those powerful people are enabled by discriminatory state laws and local ordinances that grew from pre-civil rights segregation policies. The result is worsening economic inequality and racial segregation in a growing state that isn't making room fast enough for its exploding population.
  • Education Grant Debacle Fixed: Teachers to Get Millions Back After NPR Investigation

    NPR’s Chris Arnold and Cory Turner started digging into a Department of Education grant program after spotting a brief mention in a broader lawsuit. What they uncovered was shocking: a program gone horribly wrong for thousands of public school teachers. "It's ridiculous; it's mind-boggling. It's been two years of torture," was how teacher Kaitlyn McCollum of Columbia, Tenn described it. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The program has a noble goal - to encourage aspiring young teachers like McCollum to work in the nation’s most disadvantaged communities. They agree to teach a high-need subject, like math, for four years in a public school serving low income families. In return, they get grants to pay for their own education. But the reporters found that’s not how it worked out at all. Thousands of teachers had their grants unfairly converted to loans due to a paperwork debacle at the U.S. Department of Education - leaving some bearing the burden of more than $20,000 in debt. Cory and Chris’ work not only exposed the program’s brutal inflexibility and it’s devastating impact on the lives of teachers; their seven stories, reported over the previous ten months, convinced the Department to offer teachers a dramatic fix. As a result of their reporting, the Education Department is now reaching out to thousands of teachers to return millions of dollars of grant money that was unfairly taken away from them.
  • 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.
  • Dark Money: London's dirty secret

    ''Dark Money: London's Dirty Secret'' pierced a world that is normally hidden from all but those who enjoy great wealth or great power: the world of financial secrecy. At a moment when public debate is dominated by inequality and tax evasion, the Financial Times turned a glaring spotlight on the City of London and explained its role in a global system of illicit finance that serves the kleptocrats, criminals and the super-rich. One of the most-read stories of the year on FT.com, Dark Money was a riveting narrative that exposed a system designed to look impenetrable to outsiders. The City’s secrecy specialists spin webs of front companies, offshore accounts and dummy directors that allow tainted wealth to flow around the globe incognito. This system takes dirty money and makes it look clean. It creates a secret world whose existence is corrosive to the rest of society – a piggy bank for untouchable power.
  • The Numbers Game

    The Naked Truth: Numbers Game examines the inadequate and outdated collection of crime statistics and how this practice skews policing and public policy. Fusion’s Ryan Nerz uncovers the reality behind the numbers. They wrangled raw FBI data to develop key insights into policing in the U.S. Plus, they learned how gaming the numbers can lead to further inequality, discrimination, and in some cases, neglect. Stats may not be sexy, but this data affects how we live our lives every single day, especially if you are black in America. http://tv.fusion.net/story/373011/naked-truth-numbers-game/
  • Who’s getting rich off your student debt?

    America’s student loan system was created in the 1960s as part of an effort to alleviate poverty and inequality. But by 2016, some 42 million Americans owed an astonishing $1.3 trillion on their student loans, and the debt load had doubled in eight years. How did a program intended to help deserving students go to college become a profit center for Wall Street, private investors, even the government? We sought to document how the nation’s student loan crisis unfolded – and who has profited from it.
  • Broadband Inequality

    The Center for Public Integrity combined large datasets to measure in hard numbers who doesn’t have access to high-speed internet and for the first time illuminate the issue through a socioeconomic lens. The Center found that people living in areas in the lowest quintile of median household income were nearly five times more likely not to have access to broadband than those living in areas in the top quintile. This analysis had never been done before.
  • Inequality Calculator

    The Inequality Calculator is an application based on the massive data analysis of the income of citizens of 16 countries that reveals, in an interactive and comparative way, the enormous income gaps that exist between the poor and multimillionaires of Latin America and the Caribbean. The INEQUALITY CALCULATOR is based on an algorithm that divides a household's monthly income among its members and compares this with the country's population ordered from poorest to richest in 10 groups, or deciles, plus the group of multimillionaires. The result of these calculations will provide the user with an estimate of the time he or she would need to work to attain the average monthly income of a multimillionaire and will also allow comparison to the country's other income groups. The timeframe—some will need to work for several centuries to achieve this income—will highlight, in an amusing but direct fashion, the insuperable gap that separates the ordinary citizen and the multimillionaire.
  • Millennials: the trials of Generation Y

    The Guardian’s millennials project is the first in-depth examination of intergenerational inequality across eight countries over three decades. The data-driven series reveals the extent of income inequality between generations and shows young people today are worse off than their parents in some of the world’s richest countries despite decades of economic growth.