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 "monitors" ...

  • Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

    In response to mass shootings, some schools and hospitals have been installing devices equipped with machine learning algorithms that purport to identify stressed and angry voices before violence erupts. Our analysis found this technology unreliable. Our goal was to reverse-engineer the algorithm, so we could see for ourselves if it actually worked as the company advertised. (One salesperson suggested to us that the device could prevent the next school shooting.) We purchased the device and rewired its programming so we could feed it any sound clip of our choosing. We then played gigabytes of sound files for the algorithm and measured its prediction for each. After this preliminary testing, we ran several real-world experiments to test where the algorithm could be flawed. We recorded the voices of high school students in real-world situations, collected the algorithm's predictions and analyzed them.
  • Thai Shrimp Industry Exploits Workers to Whet Global Appetite for Cheap Shrimp

    Shrimp is big business in Thailand, thanks to an appetite in the United States that continues to grow. Today, a third of country’s exported shrimp goes to the U.S., its top customer, where retail giants like Walmart and Costco do high-volume sales and suburban Red Lobsters offer bargain blue plate specials. Breakthroughs in aquaculture have helped Thai producers keep up with the rising demand, but there’s a catch to their success: an invisible underclass of Burmese migrant workers, thousands of whom labor in sub-human conditions to keep costs down. Of the estimated 200,000 Burmese migrants working in Samut Sakhon province, the heartland of the Thai shrimp industry, about a third are unregistered and subject to rights abuses. Independent monitors say that thousands desperate to escape the poverty and dictatorship of their homeland cross the border only to find themselves trapped in bonded labor that’s tantamount to slavery. Sold by brokers to crooked factory owners, they are forced to endure long hours for pitiful wages, physical abuse and intimidation. Many are children who do not meet Thai working age requirements. Their plight is made worse, critics say, by the profit-induced apathy of Thai authorities who turn a blind eye or are complicit in abuses. Reporters Steve Sapienza and Jason Motlagh investigate exploitative labor practices at the lower levels of the supply chain.
  • Alarm Fatigue

    The Boston Globe investigated the problem of "alarm fatigue" and documented at least 216 deaths over the course of the past five years nationwide and linked to problems answering alarms on cardiac monitors and at least 119 deaths linked to problems answering alarms on ventilators.
  • Dangerous Doctors

    This story profiles four doctors who are frequently sued for malpractice. These doctors practiced surgery while on drugs, abandoned their patients and even left surgical tools inside patients, but they were all lightly disciplined and allowed to continue practicing. Burnett looked into possible means of alleviating the current insurance "crisis," such as harsher discipline for doctors who harm patients. But he found that state medical boards are often too understaffed, underfunded or too ineffectual to be effective monitors of the industry.
  • Oxycontin

    A poorly maintained medical assistance program helped contribute to the abuse of oxycontin in Minnesota. The state only monitors drugs paid for through the state's medical assistance program. Abusers are getting the drug through the state, selling it on the street for ten times as much, and then purchasing prescriptions of the drug for themselves. Oxycontin is considered the "#2 drug problem" in Minnesota other than meth.
  • Projects get millions in violation of state law. No one monitors how money from Build Indiana Fund is spent.

    At least $40 million from the Build Indiana Fund went to projects that violate the law, The Indianapolis Star found after reviewing records from the 1997 and 1999 budget years.
  • A Terrible Thing to Waste

    On-magazine reports on problems with disposal of old computers. The author finds that they are "little more than hazardous waste." The article reveals that computers and their monitors "contain many potentially harmful substances, such as mercury, chromium and up to 8 lbs. of lead per system." A sidebar to the story includes addresses of websites that provide computer-donation databases or information on recycling old computers.
  • Seismic Shift

    Discover reports on a seismologist who monitors man-made seismic events around the world, from plane crashes to nuclear tests. "On a planet as small as ours and as wired as ours, it's hard to keep a secret from a good seismologist," Discover reports. These seismic readings can reveal information about incidents that governments are trying to keep secret. Seismic information was used to pinpoint the location and tell the story of a Russian sub that went down when Russian officials were keeping quiet.
  • Day Care Investigation

    WESH-TV investigates "how the state of Florida tracks and monitors day cares" and finds that "no such system exists." The analysis finds that "nearly 44 percent of all day cares have broken the law at least once during the past five years" and "twenty-three percent of them had repeatedly violated the law." The series exposes problems like shortage of staff, "children left alone, others wandering across streets and into neighbors' {businesses or} yards ... falsifying training records {and actually operating without a license}." The reporters also reveal that "some day cares change their names ... but nit their questionable way of doing business." The television websites provides a list of day cares that have been cited and/or fined by the state Department of Children and Families.
  • Deja's View: In a Poor Baby's Fight to Survive, a Parable Of a Medicaid HMO; An ICU Works Its Wonders, Monitors Patrol the Ward, And the Tension Crackles; When Discharge Is a Setback

    The Wall Street Journal tells the story of Deja Donegan, a five-week-old preemie born to a single mother on welfare. The story of Deja serves to illustrate a large issue facing the medical community today: health professionals are spending millions of dollars to "try to make a dent in the distressingly high infant-mortality rate among African-Americans," but are under tremendous amounts of pressure from HMOs to discharge those babies as soon as their condition improves. This is a particularly grave problem because many of the babies treated come from lower income homes. When the babies are released -- sometimes earlier than the doctors would prefer -- they are often not going to well-equiped, warm homes. This can cause these million-dollar babies to have more medical problems later in life.