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 "watchdog" ...

  • Seattle Police:Vanishing Videos

    This story began as a relatively simple venture; how to get copies of police dashboard camera videos to provide watchdog oversight of a police department facing growing criticism. It grew into a major expose of questionable police tactics and a battle for public access to critical public records that is currently before the state Supreme Court. Over the course of a year and a half, KOMO TV’s fight for videos and the video database became a game of strategy and attrition as the Seattle Police Department denied us access to public records at every opportunity. We tried every means at our disposal to get these records including direct appeals to elected officials. Finally, with no other recourse, KOMO TV sued the SPD and the city of Seattle. Only then did we make our fight for these records public. What followed in 2012 was a cascade of stories; people coming forward alleging police misconduct and an attempt to hide the videos that would tell the truth. In addition to KOMO TV’s public records lawsuit, our investigation has prompted state legislators and other open records advocates to pursue changes in state law to ensure these records can no longer stay hidden.
  • Pension Madness

    In "Pension Madness," New Jersey Watchdog exposes systematic state pension abuses in New Jersey. The report documents 170 "retired" public officials who collectively pocket $12 million a year in retirement pay in addition to their current salaries.
  • Spanish-language FOIA requests

    We undertook the project to explore the issue of language access and freedom of information. Our goals were threefold. First, we wanted to break new ground in open government with regards to language access by submitting FOI requests in Spanish. Second, we wanted to receive data from officials at city, country, state and federal levels to use as the basis for stories and articles that fulfilled our watchdog and public service mission. Third, we wanted to educated our colleagues and readers about their information rights so that they could have additional tools for their news production and consumption, respectively.
  • When Immunity Fails: Whooping Cough Epidemic

    KPBS and the Watchdog Institute investigated the whooping cough outbreak of 2010 that sickened thousands of people across the country and killed 23. This investigation contributed to the launch of new studies on the disease.
  • Watchdog website and its web pages

    The Oklahoman/NewsOK.com started this project in 2008 with the Right to Know page, a collection of databases developed internally to go along with stories and links to relevant public information. That site became part of the Watchdog page in 2009. In 2010, the staff continued to evolve the Watchdog page with "mini-sites" of investigative topics, such as a political corruption case at the Oklahoma Legislature; the staff's FOI fight over the birth dates of public employees; and allegations of bid-rigging with a married lawmaker and lobbyist for a private company seeking a state juvenile justice contract. Other "mini-sites" under Watchdog include ongoing coverage of the state Department of Human Services and the federal stimulus package.
  • ABC News Partnership: Better Business Bureau Investigation

    The ABC News Investigative Unit along with six ABC local affiliate stations conducted an unprecedented investigation of the Better Business Bureau.
  • Investigative work of Mike Wilksinson

    The work samples of Mike Wilkinson are entries for the Gannett Award for Innovation in Watchdog Journalism. The first story shows how some struggling school districts are paying exorbitant teacher salaries. Another finds that a local television station's segments called "Best School Districts" are advertorials. The final story tracks the murder rates among young black men.
  • Brian Ross Investigates: Better Business Bureau -- Pay to Play Scandal

    An investigation of the Better Business Bureau revealed it was running a "pay to play" scheme. Businesses that paid for a BBB membership were given A plus ratings while those that didn't received F ratings. Following the investigation, the BBB immediately apologized and launched an internal investigation.
  • Detroit lags on vacant house demolitions

    The author investigated the Wayne County Medical Examiner's office and the mayor's office to see how well they were keeping up their promise to demolish vacant homes in the city.
  • Transportation Center Stalled at South Carolina State University

    The series investigates where the $50 million in state and federal dollars went that had been given to build a new transportation center at South Carolina State University. With a vacant building site and no underway, school officials did not have an answer as to where the money went. The story prompted lawmakers to launch a formal investigation.