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 "segregation" ...

  • A Vicious Cycle: Broken Homes, Deadly Streets, Shattered Lives.

    The 54 minute documentary “A Vicious Cycle” is a groundbreaking and deeply personal look at the causes and impact of violent crime in the St. Louis area, which includes East St. Louis and Washington Park, Illinois, the communities with the highest murder rates in America. The documentary is the result of five months of investigation and interviews with victims, their families, former gang leaders, police, and social workers. The program is divided into four segments; (1) overview with victims and a deep look at causes of violent crime, (2) unprecedented access with one St. Louis family with 2 sons behind bars and the father of 1 son also in prison, (3) an inside look at how police are fighting crime, (4) and the emotional ending focusing on social programs that successfully bring broken families together. In 2011, there were 11 murders in Washington Park, Illinois, 1 for every 370 residents, which is 8 times the murder rate of St. Louis, a city that has one of the highest murder rates in the country. We explore the many contributing factors in the region's most violent neighborhoods, including extreme poverty, lower levels of education and home ownership, single parent families and segregation. We also examine the life of a former gang leader who was arrested more than 40 times, including arrests for 2 murders. A unique part of our program is a deeply personal investigation of the destruction of one St. Louis family. That segment, part two of our program, is 13 minutes long. The mother agreed to talk about her family because of the “pull of the streets” that lured all 3 of her sons into a gang. Our investigation learned that it was the collapse of the family, particularly their mother’s mental problems and substance abuse that really pushed the boys into the streets to find more structure and a sense of family. What follows is a rare look inside a family in crisis, featuring on-camera interviews behind bars with two sons and the father. One son is mentally ill, suicidal and has 7 children. During the interviews we learn that the root of the family’s collapse was the mother’s repeated abuse and neglect when she was a young child. The segment also includes interviews with the victims of other son’s violent crimes, including a murder he committed when he was just 19.
  • Living Apart: Fair Housing in America

    The series documents 45 years of neglect of one of the most sweeping civil rights laws in our country’s history. The investigation found that the federal government made a decision almost immediately after the passage of the 1968 Fair Housing Act not to enforce the key provisions of the law, including the mandate to promote residential integration. The stories and maps reveal how politics hobbled the reach of the law, severely limiting both the resources and the will of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to use its vast powers to force communities to undue decades of government-sanctioned segregation. It showed how HUD has from its roots been an agency conflicted about enforcing the law and how those charged with enforcement are undertrained and often maligned within the agency. As a result of the law’s neglect by a succession of Republican and Democratic Administrations, our investigation found that segregation patterns in the cities with the largest proportion of black residents have barely budged.
  • A Tale of Two Neighborhoods

    This series of investigative articles examines increasing racial segregation in student neighborhoods surrounding the University of Texas at Austin. Caused by new land zoning in housing communities near campus, rent costs have been on the rise in neighborhoods near the University at the same time that increasing numbers of low-income students of color have been admitted to the University under new admissions policies. With racial tension rising, the result has been a high density of white and Asian students in expensive neighborhoods near campus, and a high density of black and Latino students in other parts of the city who must travel by bus to reach school.
  • Locked Out

    The Oregonian spent six months investigating the location of subsidized housing in the Portland area and related failures under the nation's Fair Housing Act. Although the federal law was supposed to fight housing discrimination and end segregation, the newspaper found that investments controlled and funded by government have often been in the region's poorest neighborhoods and areas with high minority concentrations. Because people of color often have a greater need for subsidized housing, these spending decisions reinforce and perpetuate segregation in a largely white metro area.
  • Fair Housing in America

    ProPublica reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones looked at how and why the Dept. of Housing & Urban Development has failed to enforce the Fair Housing Act. She traced the nation’s history of housing discrimination, from the Great Migration of African Americans to Northern cities in the early 1900’s to the post-World War II boom and into the 1960’s. Again and again, her reporting showed, federal agencies played a pivotal role in keeping white and black Americans separate. While the law required localities to “affirmatively further’’ fair housing, neither Democratic nor Republican presidents had the political will to enforce it. Over time, courts interpreted that provision to mean that HUD could withhold billions of dollars in grants from communities that were not doing everything possible to end segregation. Yet officials charged with enforcing the fair housing law told Hannah-Jones they were often ignored or undercut by others inside HUD, who saw the agency’s main mission as distributing development dollars. Even when courts issued rulings insisting that communities honor the law’s intentions, as she notes in a case about Westchester County, New York, they were routinely ignored by HUD officials and local politicians alike. Hannah-Jones also looked at how little HUD does to root out or punish racial steering and overt discrimination in the sale and rental of property. Millions of Latinos and African Americans face such bias each year. Yet HUD hardly ever does the sort of undercover testing proven to catch landlords and real estate agents in the act.
  • Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part

    In Afghanistan, families disguise their daughters s sons and raise them as boys to allow for their daughters to be education, work, and have more freedoms. The practice is called "bacha posh" and the investigation takes an unprecedented look at it.
  • Gangs in Garden City: How Immigration, Segregation and Youth Violence Are Changing

    Journalist Sarah Garland investigates how two of the most dangerous Central American gangs have made their way into the suburbs of Long Island. Garland also tells the story of several young people whose lives have been affected by gangs or gang violence. Her five-year investigation involves conversations with police, gang members and school officials. That information reveals a different opinion than that of the Department of Homeland Security, who believes the gangs to be a problem on the level of Al Qaeda.
  • Fighting New Jersey's Tax Crunch

    The series provided a detailed analysis of New Jersey's dysfunctional property tax system, which has the highest costs in the nation. Using U.S. census data, IRS data, 10 years of local tax information, and more than 40 databases of local and state employee payrolls, we found that the system had evolved into a juggernaut that was destroying the fiscal and social fabric economy of the state.
  • Hard Driving: The Wendell Scott Story

    "The book reports how Bill France's political and business alliances with influential segregationist politicians helped NASCAR to grow into the multi-billion-dollar, family-owned corporation that today controls one of the country's most popular sports."
  • Head Games

    Alan Pendergast, staffwriter for Denver's Westword reports that in 2004, 20% of Colorado's jail population was diagnosed with severe mental illness, and "the true number may be much higher, since some inmates' illnesses are never properly diagnosed." The story compares cost of psychiatric lock-up versus community mental health care. Pendergast advises other journalists doing similar stories should "insist that someone in the accontable chain of command review and comment on the records, even if the actual treatment providers are refusing to be interviewed."