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 "silicon valley" ...

  • The TurboTax Trap

    Why Americans, unlike citizens of other developed countries, pay billions of dollars every year to perform the most basic civic act: file taxes. We revealed that Intuit, whose TurboTax business has helped the company become a $69 billion Silicon Valley colossus, has used lobbying, the revolving door and “dark pattern” customer tricks to keep tax filing difficult and fend off an IRS program to help most Americans file for free.
  • Silicon Valley’s Hidden Figures

    Silicon Valley has a big diversity problem. But no one has been able to comprehensively quantify it until now. Some of the multibillion-dollar companies that fuel the global economy have sought to hide how few women and people of color they have in their organizations, refusing to release the data, claiming the information is a trade secret. We built the largest and most comprehensive database of diversity employment data for Silicon Valley available. Through a groundbreaking collaboration with a University of Massachusetts Amherst sociologist, we got Equal Employment Opportunity Council (EEOC) data for 177 of the largest tech companies through public records requests and a successful FOIA lawsuit. Through this data, we uncovered disparities and ranked companies based on their diversity scores. By establishing a baseline of comparative data, we were able to hold companies accountable for their diversity hiring practices for the first time. Because of our analysis, the public now knows some of the worst companies when it comes to diversity in Silicon Valley. But we also found that diversity is not an impossible goal to achieve for technology companies: some are doing much better than their peers.
  • NYT: Privacy, Propaganda and Profit in Silicon Valley

    Internet titans, including Facebook, empowered hucksters and propagandists stoking fear and hate, and misled the public about their behavior.
  • Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

    In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup "unicorn" promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood testing significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at more than $9 billion, putting Holmes's worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn't work. A riveting story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron, a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley.
  • The Downfall of Theranos

    The Wall Street Journal saved patients from harm by revealing fraud at the heart of one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies.
  • The Downfall of Theranos

    The Wall Street Journal saved patients from harm by revealing fraud at the heart of one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies. Were it not for the Journal’s reporting in 2016, tens of thousands of patients would have been put at risk and a company built on fraudulent foundations would still be a Silicon Valley darling. Theranos, a $9 billion laboratory startup, had promised to revolutionize blood testing by drawing just a few drops of blood with a finger prick. It wasn’t close. A team of Journal reporters, in a committed and extensive investigation, exposed how its technology didn’t work, how the company tried to cover up its failures and how patients’ lives were turned upside down and their health jeopardized.
  • Hazardous Waste Regulation Challenges in California

    Despite a number of organizations overseeing the metal shredding industry, regulators have struggled to be effective in their efforts, possibly jeopardizing environmental and societal health. A deep dive into the Sims Recycling Plant in Silicon Valley uncovered decades of violations and millions of dollars of fines. And the failure to effectively police these plants are hurting local residents: in late 2013, the San Francisco Peninsula was engulfed in noxious black smoke when fires broke out at the facility.
  • Driving with suspended license top crime in Menlo Park, many lose cars

    Over 4.4 million Californians have suspended driver’s licenses simply because they can’t afford to pay a traffic ticket. We chronicled the impact on everyday people and showed how minorities are affected disproportionately, focusing on the Silicon Valley city of Menlo Park, with populations representing the very affluent and the very poor.
  • The Poor Kids of Silicon Valley

    Silicon Valley is built on the promise of the American Dream. Rags to riches. Anyone can make it. Apple and Google grew out of garages there. Yet CNN Opinion columnist John Sutter and videographer Brandon Ancil found this valley of riches, the heart of the U.S. tech industry, to be plagued by widespread and severe child poverty. Sutter argued that this is not only a moral outrage in this era of income inequality, it also undermines this valley’s future and that of the country. http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/03/opinion/ctl-child-poverty/#0
  • Testing Theranos

    Americans have been fascinated with successful entrepreneurs since the days of Horatio Alger. In recent years, Silicon Valley billionaires like Apple’s Steve Jobs, Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg have become icons. Elizabeth Holmes looked to be next. Claiming she was transforming medicine with her blood-testing company, Theranos Inc., the 31-year-old Stanford University dropout became a celebrity. The New Yorker and Fortune published admiring profiles. Time named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. Harvard’s medical school appointed her to its prestigious board of fellows. President Obama named her a U.S. ambassador for global entrepreneurship. Theranos became the nation’s largest private health-care startup, with Ms. Holmes’s stake valued at more than $4.5 billion.