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" ...

  • The Sting: How the FBI created a terrorist

    With access to sealed FBI transcripts that were placed under a federal protective order, "The Sting" reveals how the FBI entrapped a 27-year-old mentally ill Muslim and Kosovar refugee in a counterterrorism sting. While they publicly described Sami Osmakac as a danger to national security, FBI agents privately called him a "retarded fool" whose targets were "wishy-washy" and provided him with weapons and money that he never would have been able to obtain otherwise. "The Sting" is the first behind-the-scenes account of how the FBI operates its controversial counterterrorism stings, which since 9/11 have been responsible for the conviction on federal terrorism charges of more than 175 Muslims in the United States.
  • Secret Email Account Exposed

    It's a practice that gained national notoriety with reports that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton declined to use her government-issued email for public business -- favoring a personal account while serving as Secretary of State. The WDSU I-Team discovered a similar practice involving the leader of the most populous city in Louisiana. We delved into how many emails the mayor of New Orleans sends, and from what accounts. Investigative reporter Travers Mackel tracked down the mayor and asked him why he used his private email instead of his city-issued one. In this two-part series, we take a closer look at the practice. Days after the reports aired, the mayor renounced the use of his private email account for public business. https://youtu.be/B9b1Kc33Sa4
  • Testing Theranos

    Americans have been fascinated with successful entrepreneurs since the days of Horatio Alger. In recent years, Silicon Valley billionaires like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have become icons. Elizabeth Holmes looked to be next. Claiming she was transforming medicine with her blood-testing company, Theranos Inc., the 31-year-old Stanford University dropout became a celebrity. The New Yorker and Fortune published admiring profiles. Time named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Harvard’s medical school appointed her to its prestigious board of fellows. President Obama named her a U.S. ambassador for global entrepreneurship. Theranos became the nation’s largest private health-care startup, with Ms. Holmes’s stake valued at more than $4.5 billion.
  • Higher-Ed Hustle

    Miami Herald reporter Michael Vasquez took a deep look at the private for-profit college industry in Florida to determine why it has flourished while similar schools have struggled in other states. What he found: Florida politicians -- especially those in the state legislature -- have enabled the industry, passing more than a dozen laws that fueled its growth while hindering community colleges. In exchange, lawmakers have received hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions.
  • The Billion Dollar Startup Club

    The Wall Street Journal sought a powerful way to illustrate the tech boom and the explosion of capital flooding startups. The resulting interactive spurred a new investigative series called “Private Risk,” which examines the intersection of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. For the startup companies that populate Silicon Valley, the idea of raising $1 billion has long been hailed as a near-mythical achievement. The 2010 movie about Facebook Inc., “The Social Network,” hammered this notion into the mainstream American lexicon. But it has become clear that a $1 billion valuation for a startup is no longer unusual. In early 2015, our research found that more than 80 startup companies were valued at that amount and the list was growing as never before. Just a few years earlier, only a handful of companies had achieved this milestone. We needed a way to better track this boom and create a trusted resource for readers who may not have heard of these companies. Over time we hope to show the expansion and contraction of capital, perhaps a visual accounting of a boom and a bust. At the top of the interactive, we created a unique radial bar that displays the size of each company's valuation over time. Readers can move a slider underneath the chart between months, enabling the radial bar to contract or expand along with a sortable table below that includes written profiles of all the companies. These profiles are created by dozens of Journal reporters around the world, based on interviews with each company. The Billion Dollar Startup Club has become a dependable resource for readers and is often cited online and in internal reports by big firms such as Goldman Sachs. The interactive allows us to enhance our articles dealing with startups; related coverage is linked along the right rail of the interactive. The list now includes more than 125 companies, double the number we started with.
  • Private Risk

    In a year-long series, The Wall Street Journal exposed and analyzed the underbelly of Silicon Valley’s technology boom with powerful reporting that triggered action by federal regulators, the nation’s largest drugstore chain and major retailers. Among the many highlights was an expose of blood-testing firm Theranos Inc., detailing how the nation’s largest private health-care company hit technological snags—with employees filing complaints with regulatory agencies alleging the company concealed problems—as it performed millions of blood tests on patients. The articles selected here—from dozens of stories, infographics and videos in the Journal’s “Private Risk” series—also revealed how technology firms fudge their finances; how private tech shares are improperly traded in a shadowy market; and how millions of American own shares of private tech firms through their mutual funds with no idea about what they’re actually worth.
  • In These Times: Why the United States Leaves Deadly Chemicals on the Market

    We investigated the numerous ways the chemical industry influences regulation of chemicals by the EPA and the FDA. Specifically, we discovered that industry-funded researchers have used a particular type of scientific study called “physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling” to support industry claims that economically important chemicals are safe. We found that the scientists who pioneered PBPK modeling while working for the Air Force in the early 1980s had recognized early on that PBPK studies could be used to industry’s advantage. As we examined the record over the past four decades, it became clear that these studies are primarily conducted by regulatory toxicologists working as private consultants or for research institutions funded by chemical companies. Further, these same individuals and consultancies often receive federal grants and contracts, suggesting widespread conflicts of interest. Our investigation documents the outcome – often delay or outright termination – of regulatory processes for numerous hazardous chemicals, including methylene chloride, formaldehyde, bisphenol A, perchlorate, styrene, and chlorpyrifos. While other journalists have documented the chemical industry’s political influence, to our knowledge no other journalists have brought to light the ways science itself is being manipulated.
  • Paid to Prosecute

    A joint Texas Tribune/Austin American-Statesman investigation revealed that the state's largest and oldest provider of workers’ compensation coverage — Texas Mutual Insurance — had paid millions of dollars to the Travis County District Attorney’s Office to get public prosecutors to pursue alleged crimes against the company. It was an enormous conflict of interest that had flown under the radar for more than a decade, a private justice system that gave special treatment to one insurer — and subjected many unsuspecting blue-collar workers to lawsuits.
  • Revealed: the private firms tracking terror targets at the heart of US drone wars

    An innovative, complex, long-term investigation into one of the most hidden elements of the US drone war - the use of private contractors to determine targets. We built a unique database and processed over 8 million federal transacting records to locate 10 companies offering imagery analysts to the military and interviewed current and former contractors about their experiences.
  • The Invisible Soldiers

    "The Invisible Soldiers" talks about the U.S. national security and its growing "private military" complex and "security companies."