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 "quality" ...

  • 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.
  • Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom

    The widespread use of generic drugs has been hailed as one of the most important public health developments of the twenty-first century. Today, 90 percent of the U.S. pharmaceutical market is comprised of generic drugs, the majority of which are manufactured overseas. We have been reassured by our doctors, our pharmacists and our regulators that generic drugs are identical to their brand-name counterparts, just less expensive. But is this really true? Bottle of Lies: The Inside Story of the Generic Drug Boom exposes for the first time the endemic fraud behind generic drug manufacturing –and the attendant risks for global public health.The narrative investigation interweaves the stories of a determined whistleblower, an intrepid FDA investigator and drug manufacturers determined to deceive regulators. Reported on four continents over a ten-year period, and drawing on 20,000 pages of confidential FDA documents, the book uncovers how one of the world’s greatest public health innovations also became one of its most astonishing swindles. Bottle of Lies uncovers a global industry where companies routinely falsify quality data, and executives circumvent almost every principle of safe manufacturing to minimize cost and maximize profit. Meanwhile, patients unwittingly consume medicine with unpredictable and dangerous effects.
  • USA TODAY/BOSTON GLOBE: VA nursing home quality revealed

    A rolling, joint investigation of Department of Veterans Affairs nursing home quality that pressured the agency to release internal ratings and data the agency had kept secret for years, depriving veterans and their families of potentially crucial health care information.
  • The Texas Observer and Grist with The Investigative Fund: Too Big to Fine, Too Small to Fight Back

    Citgo refineries spew thousands of tons of chemicals into the air, degrading air quality and putting human health at risk. Despite Citgo's revenues hitting north of $40 billion, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality lets the company off easy. For her investigation in The Texas Observer, in partnership with Grist and The Investigative Fund, Naveena Sadasivam dug into how the TCEQ has fined corporate polluters $30 million for air violations, not much more than the $24 million imposed on gas stations, a significant percentage of which are owned by immigrants, just for record-keeping errors. The disparity between TCEQ's treatment of mom-and-pop operations versus large corporations favors those with money and power. The agency rarely punishes big polluters, often because of a legal loophole, and when it does levy a fine, lawyers negotiate big reductions in penalties. As a result, environmental advocates and small business owners say there's a fundamental unfairness at work with the way TCEQ treats the businesses it regulates.
  • 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.
  • Special pardon and PyeongChang...Samsung's Secret Deal

    139 emails shared between Samsung chief executives are exclusively collected, and the first coverage of the fact of Samsung's illegal lobbying in order to host the PyeongChang Olympics was made for the first time both nationally and internationally. The detailed basis of the special pardoning of Chairman Lee Kun-hee was also revealed, exposing the alliance of the government and businesses. The corruption cases of the IOC members that had wielded immense power were also released. Coverage was made on site in Europe and Africa for higher quality.
  • Education Grant Debacle Fixed: Teachers to Get Millions Back After NPR Investigation

    NPR’s Chris Arnold and Cory Turner started digging into a Department of Education grant program after spotting a brief mention in a broader lawsuit. What they uncovered was shocking: a program gone horribly wrong for thousands of public school teachers. "It's ridiculous; it's mind-boggling. It's been two years of torture," was how teacher Kaitlyn McCollum of Columbia, Tenn described it. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The program has a noble goal - to encourage aspiring young teachers like McCollum to work in the nation’s most disadvantaged communities. They agree to teach a high-need subject, like math, for four years in a public school serving low income families. In return, they get grants to pay for their own education. But the reporters found that’s not how it worked out at all. Thousands of teachers had their grants unfairly converted to loans due to a paperwork debacle at the U.S. Department of Education - leaving some bearing the burden of more than $20,000 in debt. Cory and Chris’ work not only exposed the program’s brutal inflexibility and it’s devastating impact on the lives of teachers; their seven stories, reported over the previous ten months, convinced the Department to offer teachers a dramatic fix. As a result of their reporting, the Education Department is now reaching out to thousands of teachers to return millions of dollars of grant money that was unfairly taken away from them.
  • CBC Marketplace - Crying Out for Care

    Crying Out for Care was a 22-minute episode of Marketplace and digital, social, television and radio stories to reach a broad audience. Marketplace is a long-running Canadian Broadcasting Corporation investigative consumer affairs television program. its stories are presented in documentary form on the show and other versions, angles and follow-ups appear in the newscasts,news programs, website and social media of CBC. This submission includes the Marketplace episode and includes some of that other coverage. Topic: Marketplace applied data journalism techniques as well as it usual research to dig into the quality of care residents in nursing and long term care homes are receiving.
  • CALmatters: With California school bonds, the rich get richer and the poor, not so much

    Over the last two decades, voters in California have approved unprecedented amounts of local school bonds – to the tune of $113 billion – to modernize school facilities. But, as a CALmatters data analysis has found, schools in the state’s wealthiest communities have been reaping far more of that money than California’s poorer schools.
  • VA nursing home quality revealed

    A rolling, joint investigation of Department of Veterans Affairs nursing home quality that pressured the agency to release internal ratings and data the agency had kept secret for years, depriving veterans and their families of potentially crucial health care information.