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 "news outlets" ...

  • Pentagon secretly struck back against Iranian cyberspies targeting U.S. ships

    In the middle of June, tensions were rising between the United States and Iran. Iran had attacked oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz, and then downed an expensive, high-tech Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk surveillance drone flying over the Strait, upping the ante of the conflict. Given previous rhetoric from Trump administration officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against the Iranian regime, the decision to exit the Iran deal or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, and the increasingly heavy sanctions on Iran, the Yahoo News team was monitoring for chances to report in more depth on specific Iranian capabilities as well as U.S. plans to counter them. Following the attack on the U.S. drone, Yahoo News began communicating with sources who had extensive detail on a specific unit within the Iranian military in the cross-hairs of the U.S. military, a unit that had advanced its cyber capabilities to the point that it was able to track nearly all ships traveling through the Strait through both social engineering, or pretending to be attractive women engaging with service members traveling on the ships, to actually compromising ship GPS data websites in order to digitally monitor their paths. In the course of reporting, Yahoo News discovered a key, news breaking event—that just hours prior, the U.S. Cyber Command had launched a retaliatory strike aimed at limiting the capabilities of the specific Iranian cyber group the team had already been investigating. Yahoo was the first to break the news of the retaliatory strike, leading dozens of major news outlets to race to match the story. However, given the fact Yahoo News was investigating details into the cyber unit, our story was not only first but best and most detailed. The story demonstrates our ability to jump into the news cycle, provide key breaking news to our readers, as well as dig deep into illuminating new details. The story also revealed that Iranian capabilities to intercept and down drones to study them for espionage purposes was highly advanced, a fact previously unknown. Given President Trump’s recent decision to authorize a strike to kill IRGC Commander Qasem Suleimani, our reporting will continue to provide value to readers, analysts, and other interested parties hoping to better understand Iranian capabilities and how the U.S. might respond to them.
  • Election Integrity: The Southern Vote Project

    In our groundbreaking, exclusive, “flood-the-zone” Southern Vote Project, WhoWhatWhy probed the state of election integrity and revealed deep problems, including widespread disenfranchisement of large segments of the voting public. Sending a full-time team to several southern states, we documented a broad range of factors, some seemingly intentional, that resulted in voter suppression or created cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Because we were uniquely focused on this topic, we started breaking stories that other outlets were unwilling or unable to pursue. Our work played an important role in compelling legacy news outlets to begin covering this issue. Our hard-hitting coverage also resulted in several lawsuits, which in turn brought about changes in how votes were counted through court decisions made in the heat of the elections.
  • The Whistleblowers

    Whistleblower stories once proliferated the news. But with corporate and political interests working to control the agenda at many news outlets, whistleblower accounts have largely gotten shuffled to the sidelines. We decided to tackle them in depth in a series of reports. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHWeE3OTq4M
  • A Collaborative Investigative Reporting Initiative

    The Georgia News Lab is an award-wining investigative reporting collaborative. Its mission is to train a new generation of investigative journalists and help increase diversity in newsrooms. The project is a partnership between four of the top college journalism programs in Georgia (the University of Georgia, Georgia State University, Morehouse College, and Clark Atlanta University) and two of the dominant news outlets in the Southeast (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV, an ABC affiliate). Through this unique collaboration, students learn advanced reporting techniques, work side by side with professional reporters, produce major investigative stories, and prepare for careers in investigative journalism. http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/local/student-project-leads-ethics-investigation-subpoen/nm8r6/
  • The Brothel Next Door

    Merrill College student reporters did what state officials had promised but failed to do: a comprehensive assessment of human trafficking and law enforcement’s response to it. The result was “The Brothel Next Door,” the first in-depth, data-based analysis of the problem in Maryland. The report was published online by Capital News Service and by local news outlets, including in Spanish by The Washington Post’s El Tiempo Latino. Five classes collaborated on the project: Media law classes submitted public records requests to every county. Capstone classes searched court files for details about how victims become trapped, traffickers operate and authorities respond. They obtained chilling audio of victims’ testimony and a state database never before released. Their analysis found authorities had uncovered extensive evidence of trafficking but struggled to win convictions. They conducted scores of interviews to understand why.
  • Sunny Skies, Shady Characters: Cops, Killers and Corruption in the Aloha State

    A memoir of James Dooley's 30-plus year career as an investigative reporter for print, television and online news outlets in Hawaii. The book focuses on local, national and international organized crime activities in Hawaii, with emphasis on the yakuza (Japanese gangsters) and Hawaii mobsters' ties to the Teamsters Union. Dooley also writes extensively on political cronyism and corruption in local, state and federal government and details the use of public records to pursue stories. The book explores the difficulties and rewards of reporting in an enclosed market like Hawaii and discusses the shrinkage of investigative journalism in the 50th state.
  • The Pentagon Finally Details its Weapons-for-Cops Giveaway

    The Marshall Project, in collaboration with MuckRock, published, for the first time, agency-level data on the Pentagon's 1033 program, a program brought to light during the protests in Ferguson, Mo., in which the Pentagon gives surplus weapons, aircraft and vehicles to law enforcement agencies. We wrote an initial story on the data, created an easy-to-use, embeddable widget, and put together a "Department of Defense gift guide," highlighting some of the more perplexing giveaways. The story led to unprecedented public scrutiny of military equipment going to law enforcement agencies, as over forty local news outlets published articles detailing what their local cops had received.
  • Who’s to blame for El Salvador’s gang violence?

    While countless news outlets rushed to cover protests against the flood of Central American migrants crossing into the United States this past summer, NewsHour Weekend took a different approach. They launched an investigation into why an estimated 230,000 Central Americans felt the need to flee countries like El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Their investigation, which focused on El Salvador, revealed that the current mass exodus of Salvadorans has actually been thirty years in the making. It was fueled by a combination of American foreign policy decisions in the 1980’s and an act of congress in the mid 1990’s. The story ultimately raises questions about United States culpability in the current predicament.
  • Conflicts of Interest at MD Anderson Cancer Center

    In a series of investigative stories that has been running for over two years, The Cancer Letter editor Paul Goldberg has been examining conflicts of interest at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the largest cancer hospital in the world. The Cancer Letter laid bare the controversy that would have ordinarily gone unnoticed, producing real-time coverage of that institution’s efforts to create a hybrid of an academic institution and a pharmaceutical company. The web-based weekly newsletter relied on thousands of pages of internal documents obtained under the Texas Public Information Act and a network of sources at MD Anderson and throughout academic oncology and regulatory agencies. The stories informed coverage by the Houston Chronicle, the journals Science and Nature, as well as other news outlets.
  • CPI-GI-PRI-INN: State Integrity Investigation

    The State Integrity Investigation was an unprecedented, data-driven analysis of transparency and accountability in all 50 states, which resulted in a ranking of the 50 states, accompanied by both an overall letter grade and numerical scored for each state. Unlike previous government rankings, the State Integrity Investigation did not rely on a simple tally of scandals. Instead, it measured the strength of laws and practices that are supposed to encourage openness and deter corruption. Reporters researched 330 of these “Integrity Indicators” across 14 categories of state government. In the more than nine months since it was published, the State Integrity Investigation has been quoted, praised, assailed or otherwise cited by literally hundreds of news outlets. Clearly the idea of measuring accountability and transparency in state government has touched a reformist nerve – and our package is continuing to resonate all across the country.