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 "legislation" ...

  • 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.
  • The Fight for Legislative Records

    The group of stories submitted start with the anti-transparency actions that Washington state lawmakers took after an AP-led coalition prevailed in superior court in January 2018, when a judge ruled that state lawmakers are subject to the same public disclosure law that other elected officials are. The final story and glance are on the state Supreme Court in December 2019 upholding that lower court ruling. The state high court ruling is the end of a nearly three- year effort by Rachel La Corte at The Associated Press to successfully challenge lawmakers’ assertion that they had a special exemption from the state’s Public Records Act.
  • 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.
  • NewsChannel 5 Investigates: Toxic School Water

    This yearlong investigation – more than two dozen stories that culminated in an hourlong, primetime special -- exposed students drinking lead-contaminated water inside Nashville schools, parents being kept in the dark about the test results, as well as officials secretly plotting to bypass lead filters to save money and using testing methods that disguised the real contamination. Through persistence and dogged reporting, we exposed a scandal that would make national news in 2018. As a result, the head of facilities for the school district was forced to resign. District officials were also pressured by Nashville’s mayor and health department to reform their testing practices. In addition, our intense focus on the issue in 2018 would be credited with reviving legislation that’s designed to help keep children across Tennessee safe.
  • Insight with John Ferrugia: Protecting the Vulnerable

    The Rocky Mountain PBS investigation, Protecting the Vulnerable, brought various cases of abuse, neglect, and mistreatment of intellectually disabled adults to the attention of state and local officials as well as community advocates, prompting them to improve the safety of Colorado’s host home system by reviewing and enhancing state regulations and working to develop new legislation.
  • Labeled for Life

    “Labeled for Life”, a three-part investigative series, published by the Columbia Missourian in May of 2018, exposed and explored Missouri’s rigid sex offender laws months prior to a major legislative change that enabled some registrants to petition to be removed from the lifetime list. This local reporting project began as a class assignment and grew into a big national story that brought to light Missouri’s booming export of sex offenders to neighboring states where laws are not as stringent.
  • Dying for Change: Domestic Violence Victims & Law Enforcement Failures

    In more than a dozen reports followed by a 30 minute in depth special report, the Denver7 investigative team exposed a series of critical law enforcement breakdowns in the handling of fatal and near fatal domestic violence calls. At a time when this critical issue is under the national microscope the breakdowns exposed in this reporting brought changes in several law enforcement agencies and have sparked lawmakers to review current reporting and oversight requirements in Colorado and to consider new legislation in the coming session. https://vimeo.com/user22591361/review/198500061/f0f5da3ab0
  • Politics of Pain

    “Politics of Pain,” a multi-part investigation by the Center for Public Integrity and The Associated Press, examines the politics behind the nation’s opioid addiction epidemic, with a unique look at how drugmakers and their allies sought to block and delay legislation and thwart other steps intended to combat opioid abuse while pushing their own profitable but unproven remedies. Drug companies and allied advocates spent more than $880 million on lobbying and political contributions at the state and federal level over the past decade, more than eight times what the formidable gun lobby recorded for political activities during the same period. Using a network of paid allies, drugmakers also created an echo chamber that quietly derailed efforts to curb U.S. consumption of the drugs while pushing new, harder-to-abuse formulations of their products that have not been proven to reduce overdose rates.
  • Charlie Foxtrot

    “Charlie Foxtrot” began as an investigation of a military policy that strips service members of their benefits and veteran status, even after serving in war zones. Our coverage culminated with a screening inside the U.S. Capitol alongside members of the U.S. House and Senate. We focused on a piece of proposed legislation with the power to give service members a second chance. Later that week, the U.S. Senate approved that bill. By year’s end, the Act of Congress was signed in to law by the President. https://vimeo.com/198371721/2d8cedd533
  • Rape Victim Jailed: Jenny's Story

    A mentally ill rape victim who had a breakdown on the witness stand while testifying against her attacker was thrown in jail by the Harris County District Attorney's Office for nearly a month. Prosecutors worried she would not return weeks later to complete her testimony. The prosecutor’s conduct and the abuse the rape victim was subjected to in jail was exposed by the reporters. The reporters exposed a series of mistakes by jail staff that further victimized the woman. The outrage and fallout from their reporting quickly became the central campaign issue in the race for Harris County District Attorney between incumbent Devon Anderson and challenger Kim Ogg. On election night, Ogg defeated Anderson by a 7 point margin and cited the “Jenny” story as the defining issue of the campaign in her acceptance speech. Ogg fired the prosecutor who handled the case and started a new sex crimes unit to protect victims and witnesses. State senators on both sides of the aisle filed new legislation for the 2017 session to mandate legal representation for witnesses held on bonds for their testimony, a statewide solution to the problem the reporters exposed.