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.

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  • California's Teacher Housing

    An EdSource analysis revealed that living where they teach is a fading dream for many California teachers. The analysis of teacher salaries and rents reveals just how crushing California’s housing crisis has become for them. Teachers at the bottom of the salary scale working in the state’s coastal and metro areas are being shut out of affordable housing. Others are also struggling to pay the rent. Rising rents coupled with an ongoing teacher shortage are driving an increasing number of districts to build their own teacher housing.
  • Opening the black box of Egypt's slush funds

    This exposé of massive corruption in Egypt at the hands of the country's military rulers and loyalists of the failed Mubarak regime launches a partnership between the Washington DC-based non-profit Angaza Foundation for Africa Reporting (TAFAR) and Africa Confidential, the longest-established English-language publication on Africa. Entitled "Opening the black box of Egypt's slush funds", the story details how Egyptian generals and senior government officials use a complex network of slush funds as their private piggy banks, siphoning off billions of dollars from the country to top-up salaries and maintain networks of political allegiances. It also describes how recent attempts to investigate these so-called special funds have led to cover-ups, including Egyptian police allegedly stealing records implicating them in the misuse of their own funds. This “deep dive” report exposing mishandled slush funds, financial cover-ups, and massive corruption in Egypt was edited by former veteran Reuters correspondent Bernd Debusman, and overseen by TAFAR’s President and Executive Director Bobby Block, a Wall Street Journal veteran. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/egypt/2015-06-26/sisi-and-his-40-thieves
  • City Grapples with LAPD's overtime pay

    Overtime at the Lost Angeles Police Department jumped 150 percent over the last decade.
  • A Huge Hurt for Taxpayers

    The length and cost of job-related injury leaves taken by city of Los Angeles employees are growing rapidly, the Los Angeles Times found, primarily because the employees take home more money when they’re out with claimed injuries than they do when they show up for work. Payments to injured police and firefighters, who get 100% of their salaries, tax-free, while out on leave, rose 30% from 2009 to 2013, The Times found. Fewer than 5% of the injuries were attributed to acts of violence, smoke inhalation or contact with fire, city data show. About 50% were blamed on “cumulative trauma,” ailments that afflict aging bodies regardless of profession: back strain, knee strain, high blood pressure, carpal tunnel syndrome. Cumulative trauma was also the leading cause of injury among the city’s civilian workers, who typically get 90% of their salaries, tax-free, while on leave.
  • Prison Problems

    AL.com spent 2014 digging into Alabama's prison problems, interviewing hundreds of people involved in the system, poring through medical contracts and salaries and discipline records and staffing reports and lawsuits and internal investigative files and much more. They began by announcing what we were going to do. Then they began reporting, occasionally sharing process updates on records requests and reporting milestones. At times they asked readers what they wanted to know, who they wanted to hear from, what they thought of official responses. AL.com solicited reader experiences inside prisons and received hundreds of responses to build a database of potential sources and continued with classic reporting, speaking to all sides, examining records, finding out what went wrong, who was profiting, finding prison doctors who lost licenses for sleeping with patients, wardens who were promoted after beating inmates.
  • Payday California

    After California taxpayers discovered the tiny town of Bell had been paying enormous and illegal salaries to officials there, many people asked: How did we miss this for so long? That’s when The Center for Investigative Reporting set out to create the most comprehensive database in the country of local government salaries. Although these salaries are public records, most taxpayers know little about whether the paychecks for city and county officials are fair. No statewide standards govern how local pay is set, leaving the public in the dark about whether their city managers, for example, are paid appropriately for the job and the community. With Payday California, CIR skillfully put into context the $40 billion a year that California cities and counties spend on their employees.
  • America's Worst Charities

    Every year, the worst charities in America rely on telemarketers to collect millions of dollars – purportedly to fund medical research, house homeless veterans or grant a child’s dying wish. These charities pay their hired-gun solicitors as much as 95 cents of every dollar donated. Most of the rest goes to pay the charity’s executives, often in the form of six-figure salaries or consulting fees. This is the truth behind the phone calls. People in need get a pittance of what’s raised.
  • NC superintendents’ contracts packed with perks

    I requested the contracts of all 115 public school superintendents in North Carolina and found that their six-figure salaries aren’t the only way they are compensated. Many receive thousands of dollars in bonuses each year, and some get special perks, such as cars, gym memberships, money for mortgage payments and extra vacation time. The contracts also revealed the lengths school boards were willing to go to get or keep a superintendent, including one school system that agreed to provide its new leader with a house and install a nearly $4,300 fence for her dogs – paid for with taxpayer money.
  • Big Money in Non-cash Donations

    The overvaluation of non-cash donations such as medicine, food, and medical supplies can often lead to charities inflating revenues and appearing to be spending more on their programs than on administrative expenses such as salaries and benefits. Donors giving to a good cause are largely unaware of such overvaluations, especially when a charity's claim of having "delivered $450 million worth of food and medicine" is the type of success that has lured their donation in the first place. Often, however, that claim of $450 million "worth" of goods is a very generous estimate based on valuations that can be difficult to disprove. The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes a list of the nation's top 400 charities each year and decided to take a closer look at nonprofits whose revenues are predominantly comprised of such non-cash donations, called "gifts in kind," that regulators are beginning to take a closer look at because of how easily they can be overvalued. We had hoped to find a story that would highlight this element of revenue reporting in order to inform donors, alert charities, and put regulators on notice since enforcement is so lax in this particular area. Our reporting led to a charity subtracting $250 million of revenues from its books and dismissing the consultant it had hired specifically to secure non-cash donations.
  • United in Largesse

    United in Largesse is about extravagant spending and lack of accountability in the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers union, which has its headquarters in Kansas City, Kan. The Kansas City Star found that the union president’s salary and expenses far topped those of the presidents of the country’s largest unions and that the union had hired numerous officers’ relatives at robust salaries. The story also showed that union officials traveled by charter or first class to attractive destinations, squandered money on exclusive pheasant-hunting expeditions and Alaskan fly-fishing adventures and gave expensive cars as gifts to retiring officers. The Star also raised serious questions about conflicts of interest involving union pension fund trustees.