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 "public relations" ...

  • Black Out in the Black Belt

    The eyes of the world again turned to some Alabama's most neglected residents when Gov. Bentley announced in September the closures of driver's license offices. Our staff jumped into immediate action in uncovering the pattern of race and poverty in these actions, sounding an alarm picked up around the civilized world. "It's not just a civil rights violation," wrote investigative columnist John Archibald. "It is not just a public relations nightmare. It is not just an invitation for worldwide scorn and an alarm bell to the Justice Department. It is an affront to the very notion of justice in a nation where one man one vote is as precious as oxygen."
  • There Will Be Diatomaceous!

    In this series of coverage, Mission and State looks at Santa Barbara’s love-hate relationship with oil. As the country dives deeper and deeper into the enhanced-extraction oil boom, Santa Barbara grapples with what to do with the vast oil reserves waiting to be tapped in the North County and offshore. These stories delve into the fractured local oil politics, the strange bedfellows oil development can make of environmentalists, oil companies and politicians, the environmental and developmental legacies informing current debates, the missed opportunities for environmental concessions and the campaign contributions putting politicians in compromising positions. These stories paint the picture of a county in an almost schizophrenic political and cultural dance with itself. During the course of researching and reporting this series, it was revealed that Air Pollution Control District advisory board member and Lompoc City Councilmember Ashley Costa also worked in public relations for Santa Maria Energy, an obvious conflict of interest. Reporter Karen Pelland discovered that the president of a company proposing to slant drill from Vandenberg Air Force Base to get to the vast Tranquillon Ridge offshore reserve made significant political contributions to now-Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek). Garamendi had previously scuttled a deal between environmentalists and PXP oil company for the same reserve that was hailed as a landmark proposal at the time.
  • Other People's Wars

    The book is the story of a close US ally's role in the wars and international politics of the decade after September 11, 2001. Nearly everything about New Zealand's post 9-11 military and intelligence roles was kept secret from the New Zealand public, while news was controlled through an intense military public relations campaign.
  • Shaping the Message

    The Pentagon contracted a public relations firm to profile embedded journalists reporting on missions in Afghanistan. The profiling program was meant to drive journalists to report positively and deny embed requests from those who tended to report negatively on the conflict. Within six days of public exposure to this information, the Pentagon canceled the contract.
  • Rio Nuevo Audit

    The series was the first audit for the general public of how much money Tucson has spent time from its Rio Nuevo redevelpment fund to revitalize Downtown. This was the first time the public learned how much money was spent,w hat the money was spent on and who received it. The results produced outrage from residents over the waste of tax dollars on studies, public relations, travel and projects that stalled or were canceled.
  • Message Machine

    The series explained the Pentagon's campaign to use retired officers that work as military analysts for major networks to act as an extension on President Bush's wartime public relations machine.
  • Donald T. Sterling's Skid Row Mirage

    According to advertisements he distributed in the media, Los Angeles Clippers basketball owner Donald T. Sterling was building a new homeless center in downtown LA. But after L.A. Weekly did some investigating, they found he wasn't close to constructing anything. In fact, he was still looking for a homeless service provider to raise the $50 million needed to build the Donald T. Sterling Homeless Center.
  • Fake TV News

    This series investigates "the widespread, undisclosed and corporate-driven infiltration of sponsored public relations videos into television newscasts." Many of the more than 100 television stations which broadcast these videos often failed to independently gather their own material. Instead, they simply voiced over video sent by a PR company.
  • $ 7-million Storyteller Mystifies Pinellas

    This story exposes the relationship between David Conrad, a former public relations employee who started a communications consulting business and Pinellas county government's environmental management department. Over the past nine years, Conrad received seven million dollars from the government. He billed for more than 20 hours a day and county staffers renewed his contracts even though there were other companies in the Washington area capable of doing the same job.
  • Death on the Tracks: How Railroads Sidestep Blame

    These stories exposed how the railroad industry shirk the responsibility for fatal accidents. It destroys evidence, neglects to report accidents, and finances a public relations campaign that blames drivers for crashes. The investigation also shows how the industry often has a close relationship with its regulators, and how faulty warning signals are more common than previously thought.