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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "poor" ...

  • In the hot seat

    When reporters at NBC News began probing OSHA severe injury data in February 2019, an interesting takeaway emerged: UPS had a higher rate of heat injuries than any other company. At least 107 UPS workers in 23 states had been hospitalized for heat illnesses since 2015. In severe cases, heat can lead to organ failure and death. But regulators have little enforcement ability on this issue because there is no OSHA standard protecting workers from heat--even as climate change brings record-breaking temperatures. NBC News filed more than two dozen public records requests for state-level data -- to supplement the federal OSHA data -- and hundreds of pages of incident reports, and spoke with dozens of UPS employees, uncovering a corporate culture that exacerbated the problem. Long hours, heavy routes, fear of retaliation and sweltering trucks and warehouses pushed workers workers past their limits. Managers pushing workers to continue working when sick, and employees too intimidated to report their injuries. UPS claimed that their iconic brown trucks do not get dangerously hot, but NBC News sent five temperature loggers in packages across the country, during one of the hottest weeks of the summer. The results showed that each package exceeded 100 degrees while on a truck, with one hitting nearly 115 degrees. Drivers around the country also sent us images of temperature readings they took in their own trucks -- the hottest clocked in at 158 degrees. Between rising temperatures and the growing demands of the two-day delivery economy, dozens of UPS drivers said conditions are getting worse. Follow up stories uncovered additional injuries and more examples of UPS poorly protecting its workers from the heat. Following our story, OSHA fined UPS for a heat injury for the first time in nearly a decade.
  • 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.
  • Plunder and Patronage in the Heart of Central Asia

    “Plunder and Patronage in the Heart of Central Asia” exposes a massive outflow of dark money from Kyrgyzstan, one of the world’s poorest nations. Reporters revealed how, over the span of five years, more than $700 million were funnelled out of the country — and across the world — by a single man: a self-confessed money launderer named Aierken Saimaiti. Saimaiti was murdered during the course of the reporting. But before his death, he provided reporters with a trove of documents that enabled them to piece together where this money came from, how it was moved abroad, and where much of it ended up.
  • Caregivers and Takers

    “Caregivers and Takers,” a multi-platform investigation by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, uncovered rampant exploitation of caregivers at senior board-and-care homes across the United States. Many are poor immigrants who earn about $2 an hour to work around the clock with no days off while operators rake in millions. Some owners charge workers "room and board" for sleeping on a couch or in a garage. Caregivers are routinely harassed and fired if they complain. Some feared for their lives. Prosecutors liken these workplace conditions to indentured servitude. Many of these caregivers are immigrants, and evidence indicates that some were trafficked.
  • So Close, Yet So Costly

    The Great Lakes is experiencing a water affordability crisis that has driven families into debt and led to thousands of people losing access to water. An investigation by APM Reports and Great Lakes Today examined the cost of water over the last 10 years in the six largest cities on the Great Lakes - Chicago, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Detroit, Buffalo and Duluth. In the past decade water rates have been rising alarmingly fast, sometimes as much as 200%. As water gets more and more expensive, poor families and communities of color have been hit the hardest. Government run utilities have issued over 360,000 water shutoff notices in the past decade, concentrated in majority black and Latino neighborhoods.
  • Kaiser Health News: Nursing home investigations

    In a series of data-driven stories, Kaiser Health News revealed that tens of thousands of nursing home residents are dying because the facilities are woefully understaffed and painful infections are routinely left untreated or poorly cared for. In the most horrific cases, patients are cycling in out of hospitals with open wounds or bedsores that trigger sepsis or septic shock, a deadly bloodstream infection that is the leading killer in hospital ICUs.
  • The Marshall Project: The Bail Bond Racket

    Many journalists have detailed the financial costs the bail bond industry imposes on poor or minority families. This article is the first to expose, in detail and to the penny, the financial benefits reaped by the bail bond industry, using the lightly regulated state of Mississippi as case in point.
  • 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.
  • Tangled up in debt

    In late 2017, The Hechinger Report began a deep dive into cosmetology education in Iowa, an education marketplace that has long eluded scrutiny and whose graduates comprise a poorly paid and “invisible” workforce. For-profit beauty schools have maintained a near-monopoly on the sector and kept state regulations to their liking, and where, despite the schools’ hefty price tags, student earnings years after graduation often remain low. The story was a collaboration with The New York Times.
  • Nursing home staffing-related investigations

    More than 1.3 million Americans spend their final months or years in a nursing home and many suffer from inattention, poor care, or outright neglect. But just how much they suffer – and why many die as a result – was hidden until now. In a series of data-driven stories, Kaiser Health News revealed that tens of thousands are dying because the facilities are woefully understaffed and painful infections are routinely left untreated or poorly cared for. In the most horrific cases, patients are cycling in out of hospitals with open wounds or bedsores that trigger sepsis or septic shock, a deadly bloodstream infection that is the leading killer in hospital ICUs.