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 [email protected] where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "watchdog" ...

  • Lead in the Water: A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Watchdog Report

    An investigation into deep-seated problems in the City of Milwaukee's program for testing children for lead poisoning that revealed dysfunction and neglect putting children at risk.
  • Houston Chronicle: Silent Spills

    A joint investigation by the two news organizations (Houston Chronicle and AP)found that industrial spills unleashed by Hurricane Harvey in Houston were far worse than publicly reported. Impacted citizens were kept in the dark about their size and seriousness. State and federal officials misled the public with repeated assurances that no health hazards existed. Six months after Harvey, Texas regulators had not announced a single enforcement action from 89 incidents investigated. Reporters from the Chronicle and AP filed dozens of records requests, unearthing long-hidden government-funded research and cross-referencing spill data collected from a hodgepodge of state and local agencies to determine the true scope of the damage. The vital watchdog role they performed highlighted a lack of will by Texas state regulators to effectively police the petrochemical industry. But its industry-friendly approach had weakened local efforts to build cases against the worst polluters, many of them repeat environmental offenders.
  • Hachette Books: Billion Dollar Whale

    In 2009, a mild-mannered graduate of the Wharton School of Business set in motion a fraud of unprecedented gall and magnitude—“like 100 heist movies strung together” (Matt Taibbi)—and one that would eventually ensnare leading bankers and even threaten the future of investment behemoth Goldman Sachs. The story of “the $5 billion swindle known as 1MDB” would become “a textbook case of financial fraud in the modern age" (New York Times). Over a decade, Jho Low siphoned billions from an investment fund—seemingly under the nose of financial watchdogs. He used the money to purchase luxury real estate, to throw champagne-drenched parties with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio and Paris Hilton, and even to finance Hollywood films like The Wolf of Wall Street. As his scheme finally unraveled, with his yacht and private jet seized, Low disappeared. Billion Dollar Whale reveals the full story of the financial world’s most unlikely fugitive—a harrowing parable of hubris and greed in the twenty-first century.
  • CALmatters: California’s for-profit college watchdog fails to police as feds back down

    The California agency responsible for overseeing the state’s 1,000-plus for-profit colleges and vocational schools has repeatedly failed or been slow to enforce laws meant to prevent fraud and abuse, leaving a serious gap in accountability as federal regulators back away from the job.
  • Austin American-Statesman: Is Texas DPS skewing its border security stats - again?

    Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw went before Congress in April and touted nearly 40,000 arrests stemming from the department’s border surge of troopers in the Rio Grande Valley. The American-Statesman has long held DPS accountable when it comes to its border activities, and especially in how it has described the success of those efforts to lawmakers. With this story, we sought to continue in that watchdog role.
  • Sobriety for Sale

    As a heroin/opioid epidemic gripped Washington State, KING 5’s investigative team uncovered corruption at a series of state-licensed drug and alcohol treatment clinics. “Sobriety for Sale” revealed the secret payments that left addicts untreated, courts misled, and the public at risk. The series also exposed shoddy oversight by the little known state agency that is supposed to be the watchdog over Washington’s 570 licensed treatment clinics.
  • Dangerous Exposure

    Toxic chemicals seeping from industrial sites across the State of Indiana are contaminating neighborhoods and putting families at risk of dangerous exposure. 13 Investigates discovered most Indiana homeowners are in the dark about toxins lurking below the ground or in the air. The companies responsible for the contamination promised to clean up their messes as part of a voluntary program offered by the State. In exchange, the state provides participating companies legal immunity from getting sued, but 13 Investigates discovered major breakdowns in accountability. Companies hiding out in the program for decades failed to clean up as promised. At the same time Indiana's top environmental watchdog agency failed to enforce the rules to keep homeowners safe. 13 Investigates Reporter Sandra Chapman uncovers what's hidden, presses for answers and finally gets government admissions that the State simply lost track of some sites and poorly managed others. In response the state created new directives to prevent stalled cleanups from exposing neighborhoods to toxic threats. http://youtu.be/cbACoNGvHMU http://www.wthr.com/tags/dangerous-exposures
  • Press & Sun-Bulletin (NY) environmental watchdog

    Two deep projects of environmental investigative reporting demonstrating the newsroom's commitment to deeply covering this subject. In each case, the subjects have a major impact on the Southern Tier of New York State. The projects appeared in Binghamton but also were published by our sister papers in the Southern Tier (Elmira Star-Gazette and The Ithaca Journal).
  • Blazer football, death and resurrection

    In late 2014 broke the story that UAB was going to become the first school in 20 years to end a Division 1 football program. Immediately our investigative reporting began, the first revelations coming just after the new 2015 year began. We dug into the financial ramifications, the decision makers behind it and the powerful movement to bring the team back. We discovered a powerful group of people did not want UAB football to exist, but our watchdog reporting fed the public the information they needed to keep fighting -- fans who wouldn't be stopped in its pursuit to return football to Birmingham, and claim black public accountability to their university.
  • State Police Secrets and Surveillance

    The Texas Department of Public Safety and politicians for years worked behind the scenes to create a system of surveillance, casting a net that included potential criminals and everyday innocent citizens. DPS, the state police, began covering up secrets and limiting media access when The Dallas Morning News Watchdog Desk began investigating. That led to the agency sending private memos to state legislators and staff in an attempt to stop or discredit The News', and other media outlets, story publications.