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 "private" ...

  • Private Schools

    More than 180 privately run schools in New Jersey promise to take on the severely disabled children that public schools can’t handle, giving them a special status in the Garden State's educational system. But these schools are also a $600 million industry funded by New Jersey taxpayers – an industry that is only loosely regulated by the state. After a two-month investigation, Star-Ledger reporter Christopher Baxter exposed what can happen when the state writes checks to private companies without closely watching what they do with the money. His reporting was a relentless indictment of the system, finding the private schools were able to spend taxpayer dollars in ways public schools could not. He uncovered nepotism among school staffs, executive pay far higher than public school superintendents, officials owning fancy cars, schools offering generous pension plans and questionable business deals between schools and companies owned by school officials. In one instance, Baxter discovered a classroom aide who was related one of the school’s directors was taking home a $94,000 salary – three times what others were paid – without even a bachelor’s degree.
  • Assets of the Ayatollah

    In Iran, one man has final say over all government matters – not its elected president, but the nation’s top religious cleric, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. He has ruled the isolated country for nearly a quarter-century, and yet outsiders, and even many Iranians, know little about him. In November, Reuters lifted that shroud of secrecy when it published the first-ever investigation of the Supreme Leader’s business dealings: an explosive three-part series, “Assets of the Ayatollah.”
  • Private Prisons

    The Palm Beach Post uncovered a little-understood aspect of Florida’s criminal justice system running roughshod over taxpayers and inmates alike. Against a backdrop of state-approved secrecy, documents detailing security lapses and basic prison operations were routinely hidden from public view.
  • Corruption at Juvenile Prisons

    Chris Kirkham exposes the corruption at juvenile for-profit prisons, boot camps and detention centers. From condoning abuse of inmates to neglect to corruption we'll hear firsthand stories from those on the inside.
  • Can You Fight Poverty With A Five-Star Hotel?

    My story is about the World Bank’s private investing arm, the International Finance Corporation, the IFC. It reveals that the IFC is a profit-oriented, deal-driven organization that not only fails to fight poverty, its stated mission, but may exacerbate it in its zeal to earn a healthy return on investment. The article details my investigation through hundreds of primary source and other documents, dozens of interviews around the world and my trip to Ghana to see many projects first-hand, to recount that the IFC hands out billions in cut-rate loans to wealthy tycoons and giant multinationals in some of the world’s poorest places. My story details the IFC’s investments with a who’s who of giant multinational corporations: Dow Chemical, DuPont, Mitsubishi, Vodafone, and many more. It outlines that the IFC funds fast-food chains like Domino's Pizza in South Africa and Kentucky Fried Chicken in Jamaica. It invests in upscale shopping malls in Egypt, Ghana, the former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. It backs candy-shop chains in Argentina and Bangladesh; breweries with global beer behemoths like SABMiller and with other breweries in the Czech Republic, Laos, Romania, Russia, and Tanzania; and soft-drink distribution for the likes of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and their competitors in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mali, Russia, South Sudan, Uzbekistan, and more. The criticism of most such investments -- from a broad array of academics, watchdog groups and local organizations in the poor countries themselves -- is that these investments make little impact on poverty and could just as easily be undertaken without IFC subsidies. In some cases, critics contend, the projects hold back development and exacerbate poverty, not to mention subjecting affected countries to pollution and other ills.
  • Hanford's Dirty Secrets

    “Hanford’s Dirty Secrets” exposed mismanagement, wasted tax dollars and a cover-up by government officials and private contractors at the country’s most contaminated site -- the Hanford Nuclear Reservation located in Washington state -- where the most complex environmental cleanup effort in human history is underway. The liquid and solid waste housed at Hanford is dangerously radioactive and toxic, and any leak has the potential to pose serious threats to human and environmental health throughout the Pacific Northwest. The federal government produced plutonium at Hanford for the nuclear bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan and for the U.S. nuclear arsenal throughout the Cold War. This production left behind millions of gallons of cancer-causing nuclear byproducts, much of which remains stored in aging underground tanks at Hanford. KING’s reporting showed that the government contractor in charge of the tanks ignored signs of leaking nuclear waste for nearly a year while the company collected millions in bonus money from the Dept. of Energy for its "very successful" stewardship of the waste holding tanks. In addition, we revealed that during the year the contractor failed to address the leak, the company wasted millions of taxpayer funds on a project rendered useless by the very fact that the tank was leaking
  • WTAE: Where is Pittsburgh's Mayor?

    After Pittsburgh's mayor came under scrutiny during a federal criminal grand jury probe into his administration, WTAE-TV investigative reporter Bofta Yimam requested Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's work calendar for a one-year period. The federal investigation led to the mayor's hand-picked police chief to plead guilty to conspiracy and fraud. Through the official calendar, we hoped to learn more about the mayor’s comings and goings during the period federal investigators are examining. The city, however, denied our request. Our series of ongoing reports showed the difficulty in accessing a public official's calendar in Pennsylvania and highlighted the need for transparency. Through the state's Right to Know law, we filed an appeal and won a decision with the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. Instead of turning over the records, however, the city Law Department filed a lawsuit against Yimam in the Court of Common Pleas. Now, taxpayers will pay for a court case to keep a calendar private, for a mayor who is under federal investigation and who chose not to run for re-election.
  • The Girl Who Got Tied Down

    The Girl Who Got Tied Down is a documentary In two parts about a girl, “Nora”, whit self-destructive behaviour, who got raped by one of Sweden’s most senior police chiefs while she was placed in residential youth care. The documentary reveals several cases of abuse due to the work of the health service and the police in Sweden. It has created uproar and a great deal of anger. In the wake of The Girl Who Got Tied Down the senior psychiatrist charged with caring for “Nora” has been sacked from the hospital where he worked. The private mental health care company which he owns has lost its contract with the County Council.
  • Three Degrees of Separation

    In the Texas foster care system about 90 percent of all children are placed in homes via private child placement agencies, making it very easy for the state, the brokering agency and the foster parents to avoid blame when something goes wrong with a child.
  • Pay For The Triggerman: NBC 5 Investigates the Army’s Treatment of the Fort Hood Shooter and His Victims.

    Just hours after we aired the first story in this series it was flashed across the globe by news sites from the Huffington Post, to the Washington Times, and the London Daily Mail. In a matter of days several Congressmen worked to address what NBC 5 Investigates first reported: Major Nidal Hasan the man who shot and killed 13 U.S. soldiers and wounded another 32 at Fort Hood was still on the Army payroll and had received nearly $300,000 from U.S. taxpayers since his arrest. That did not sit well with victims of the attack still struggling to recover financially and emotionally. The Army had denied the victims pay and benefits awarded to other soldiers wounded at U.S. military bases overseas and in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. Over the next seven months our coverage continued in-depth over a series of eleven reports uncovering never-before-reported details about the Army’s treatment of the gunman and the victims. V.I.P. style helicopter rides for Hasan to help him work on his defense, his own private office created at Fort Hood, and millions spent on trial preparations during a process that dragged on for nearly four years.