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 "sales" ...

  • Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students

    In response to mass shootings, some schools and hospitals have been installing devices equipped with machine learning algorithms that purport to identify stressed and angry voices before violence erupts. Our analysis found this technology unreliable. Our goal was to reverse-engineer the algorithm, so we could see for ourselves if it actually worked as the company advertised. (One salesperson suggested to us that the device could prevent the next school shooting.) We purchased the device and rewired its programming so we could feed it any sound clip of our choosing. We then played gigabytes of sound files for the algorithm and measured its prediction for each. After this preliminary testing, we ran several real-world experiments to test where the algorithm could be flawed. We recorded the voices of high school students in real-world situations, collected the algorithm's predictions and analyzed them.
  • Toronto Star/CBC - Secret Scalpers

    Online ticket sales have changed everything you thought you knew about getting into your favorite concert or sporting event. In a year-long coproduction, the Toronto Star and CBC exposed how the traditional competing forces of the box office and the scalpers have been replaced by a ticket marketplace where the box office is the scalper. Using a pioneering technique to scrape data from online ticket sellers, we showed the dominance of the scalping market and the tricks used by box offices to get you to pay more. We also went undercover to reveal how TicketMaster works in cahoots with the scalpers it claims to combat.
  • The New Food Economy and The Intercept: Amazon employees and the safety net

    As food stamps go online in the coming years, Amazon is poised to collect a large proportion of sales from the $70-billion program. Yet our investigation found that in at least five states, the company's own employees are disproportionately reliant on the program to feed their families. We framed these findings in contrast to the vast subsidies states and local governments provide the company in exchange for "good" jobs. Months before the conclusion of Amazon’s HQ2 search prompted mainstream outlets to wonder whether or not the company’s presence really benefits the communities that compete to host its operations, our reporting revealed that taxpayers subsidize Amazon's expansion every step of the way. It remains to be seen whether or not those investments pay off.
  • Palm Beach Post: The Fentanyl Scandal

    An investigation of the maker of a deadly drug shows its outrageous and deadly sales push had local roots, identifies local doctors who took advantage of liberal payments to prescribe the drug and finds never-before reported death numbers associated with the drug.
  • Shrinking Shores

    The Naples Daily News explored the state of Florida’s beaches, and how little the state invests in this important asset at a time when development is allowed at a rapid pace. The project found the lack of investment has resulted in much of the state’s coastline receding and local governments are burdened with managing erosion. Even though beaches generate billions annually for the state in tourism-related sales taxes, Florida's lawmakers and governors typically return less than $1 to the shore each year for every $100 they take. Part 1: http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/special-reports/2016/11/11/shrinking-shores-how-florida-leaders-failing-states-famous-beaches/92052156/
  • How Cash Sent the Portland Housing Market Spinning

    Cash is king in red-hot Portland real estate, representing a full one-third of single-family home sales in 2014. Lee van der Voo’s seven-part series on the Portland housing market has uncovered in stark outline the often-obscured influence of cash from developers, foreign buyers and Wall Street in driving affordable housing from the city. Twenty-six investors who purchased more than 10 homes for cash in the listed market in Multnomah County through the recession. Average Black and Native American households priced out of the city. A publicly traded company that is renting out more than 200 Portland-area homes in a new twist on the asset-securitization that drove the Great Recession. The pension funds of teachers and police officers invested in cash-rich Wall Street landlords who compete on the housing market with the very middle-class professionals whose pensions they hold. With van der Voo’s reporting, an economic crisis that everyone in town talked about but no one could explain was given names, faces and numbers — and a hope of being fixed.
  • How your 401k profits from bombing Yemen

    An exclusive investigation series tracking shipments of weapons exported by Italy to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since the bombing campaign on Yemen began in March 2015. The investigation found verifiable evidence of the Italian-manufactured bombs on the ground in Yemen, and showed how readers may be profiting from the sales of these weapons through sovereign and institutional funds.
  • Sole Voter Not Alone

    Property owners in Columbia, Mo., got together to create a tax district to generate money to beautify and enhance safety in the rundown, dated strip of the community that lines Business Loop 70. They gerrymandered the district border, cutting out all residential parcels of land and voters to give the property owners the power to levy a tax with no vote of the people. A KBIA investigation showed there were actually 14 registered voters living in the district. In turn, a vote on a sales tax had to be posed to the 14.
  • Sale of Ammunition to Minors

    In the national debate over gun control, we discovered little attention is focused on the sale of ammunition to minors. We went undercover to see if federally licensed firearms dealers followed the law regarding ammunition sales to minors.
  • Detroit's Foreclosure Meltdown

    This series investigated the impact of a decade of mortgage foreclosures on Detroit neighborhoods by tracking the fate of nearly 65,000 bank foreclosed homes. We found that subprime lending and bargain-basement sales of these homes contributed to a $500 million loss for the city in unpaid property taxes and demolition costs. http://www.detroitnews.com/topic/046a3a7c-ed6d-4afb-876a-d7800dd4a513/detroits-foreclosure-meltdown/